BEHIND THE LENS
BARRA DA LAGOA, BRAZIL, BY ROSSINA ABRIL
Rossina Abril is a fashion and conceptual portrait photographer born in Montevideo, Uruguay. At the age of 14, she began her self-taught journey in photography and self-portraiture, and at 18, she decided to formalize her knowledge with film studies in Madrid.
After returning to her native country, she entered the world of fashion photography, an industry in which she has flourished professionally. Nonetheless, she has maintained a penchant for the type of images she has captured since her teenage years as a personal project.
Her work has been published in Vogue Latin America and her portraits have been widely circulated on digital platforms.
What brought you to Barra da Lagoa?
My love for Brazil started when I was 13 years old, which is almost around the same time I discovered my love for photography. I now visit once or twice a year since then, and it is always a magical and renewing experience. All of its corners are fascinating to me, from the most populated cities to the virgin beaches. After having visited several places within the country, I learned about a place called Barra de Lagoa from a close friend. He described it as a hidden paradise in Florianopolis, and from that moment on, I knew I wanted to go.
In 2018, after a year of hard work, I finally decided to spend my vacation there. I set off on a trip with a backpack, analog camera and several rolls of film. It was a month and a half of getting to know the place, its surroundings and its people. I also spent my birthday there, between self-portraits and walks through magical scenery.
I fell in love with Barra from the first day, and I would go back a thousand times more.
How do you get to Barra da Lagoa?
One of the reasons I decided to go there is because of its proximity to Uruguay (my home country) and how easy it is to get there by land. First, we went from Montevideo to La Paloma, where we stayed for a few days, and from there, we went by bus to Florianopolis. This last stretch from Floripa to Barra was by a local bus that took about an hour and a half.
What does Barra da Lagoa smell like?
It smells of sea and green. It is surrounded by hills full of thick vegetation and flowers of all sizes.
If you had to choose your favorite thing about Barra da Lagoa, what would it be?
What I liked most about it were the hidden paradises it has. To get to some of the places, you need to meet the locals and bond with them because they are the ones who know everything about the area. I also liked the variety of scenery you can find, from beautiful beaches, hills full of vegetation, forests, parts of the city, the canal that crosses the town and the beautiful houses that surround it.
What was your first impression?
The first day I arrived, I stayed in a cabin in the center of town, so what I saw initially was not the most natural part of the place. I was impressed that there are many families, mostly women, mothers with their children and grandmothers, sitting on the sidewalks with “aluga-se” (for rent) signs. Instead of putting them in the corresponding houses, they spend hours and hours sitting there waiting to attract tourists. I was quite impressed by that, but then I realized that it only happens in the center of town, I guess because of the overcrowding of visitors there.
If Barra da Lagoa had a soundtrack, what songs would it include?
- Alguém cantando by Caetano Veloso and Gal Costa.
- O bem do mar by Gal Costa.
- A paz by Gilberto Gil.
- Luz do sol by Caetano Veloso.
- Preciso me encontrar by Marisa Monte.
- Morro velho by Milton Nascimento.
When you travel to Barra Da Lagoa, you can’t miss…
Doing the trilha da boa vista (the good view trail) to Galheta.
Something everyone should know before visiting?
The best places to stay are on the Morro.
What is the most special and unique thing about Barra Da Lagoa, something you haven’t seen elsewhere?
The hospitality of the locals and the tranquility of the place despite it being a tourist area.
What is beauty to you?
Beauty is pleasure and authenticity. That glow that emanates from places, people, moments and even objects, that forces me to stop, observe and be thankful somewhere in my being for being there at that instant.