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Documentary Series "Ocean Subsistence" by Photojournalist, Lecturer Cristiano Burmester

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Fishing boat leaving port to open ocean. Cabo Frio - RJ

Brazil has about 5 thousand miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline - a little less than half of the USA's total combined 12 thousand miles for both US coasts.  The vast majority of Brazil's 211 million people - more than 80% - live within 200 miles of the coast line, and a quarter lives on the coast itself. Historically, there was a direct connection between the ocean and local's livelihood. Over the years, larger cities in Brazil have become modern, cosmopolitan centers, with increasing population density, and much of the knowledge of this traditional life its relationship with the sea has been slowly diluted.

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Boats docked at a protected area of the coast. Cananéia - SP

Despite the urbanization of the larger cities, many residents still depend on the ocean for their subsistence, lifestyle, and culture. In the southern state of Santa Catarina, Azorean immigrants (from the Azore Islands) still practice ancient fishing techniques from the Northern Atlantic archipelago that date from centuries ago. On the outskirts of some of Brazil's most populous states such as São Paulo, Rio, and Parana, "Caiçara" communities (colloquial term meaning hillbilliy locals) still sail in traditional canoes and live off artisanal fishing.  Families from isolated parts of Maranhão and Rio Grande do Sul, rely on subsidies from the Navy and other armed force personal by offering support operating Lighthouses along treacherous portions of the coast.

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Night life at the island of Santa Barbara. Abrolhos Archipelago - BA

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Santa Barbara lighthouse at work. Abrolhos Archipelago - BA

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Santa Barbara island seen from the water. Abrolhos Archipelago - BA

Life along the sea develops trade, builds social relationships and shapes cultural beliefs & traditions. Brazil's cultural diversity mimics the rich variety of people's relationships with the waters on which they depend. And while many of those cultures have evolved or adapted to nearby modernity, many have hardly changed.

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Pride and fear. Blue Shark head being held by a fisherman. Itajaí - SC

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Blue Shark fins are the purpose for this animal fishing. Itajaí - SC

Dr. Cristiano Burmester is a professor of photojournalism and professional photographer from Sao Paulo.  He merged his passion for the ocean and photography early in his career, before developing a career as a commercial photographer and photojournalist.  He has published several books and worked on photo-related projects on underwater photography, photojournalism, and commercial projects for the private sector and international organizations such as National Geographic, Traveler, Petrobras, Terra, and others.  And his work has received critical acclaim and national awards spanning from 1999 by the National Foundation of Art to very recent exhibits in Dubai, Mexico, and Brazil.  He's a frequent lecturer in universities and photo institutions from both North & South America and in Europe.

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A crab catcher hunts inside a mangrove mud near his home. São Vicente - SP

In this latest docu-series, Cristiano is documenting this "ancient" way of life by men, women, and children all over the Brazilian coast.  The 12-16 part documentary will journal the various relationships between each conclave and their oceanic relationships, practices, culture, and subsistence. It provides a closer look at the different lifestyles that make up the multifaceted array of seafarers and their present relationships with our shared ocean waters and the Brazilian way of being.

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 Local fishermen pull out of the water a floating fishing net. Parati - RJ

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