In 2016, the Brazilian photographer Hugo Santsarem Rodrigues took a global ancestry DNA test to know his origins. « From the results of this test, I decided to travel to the interior of the countries where my ancestors came from. So far, I’ve been to Kenia and Ethiopia », he says. The project started in 2015 when he traveled inside his home country, Brazil. « I spent some time in a quilombola community called Lagoa da Pedra in Tocantins state. I went to the south to know the Gauchos and to the northwest to see the life of the cowboys in Piauí state. After this, I wanted to know even more about the beginning of these cultures and also about my origins. And I, like so many Brazilians, didn’t knew exactly where my ancestries came from. The project is based on this, self-knowledge and discovery. When I saw the result and where I come from, I created a deeper relationship and developed a huge desire to know more about my origins ».
« Deep down, the base of the project is to respect the differences, to see people in the same way as we see ourselves. It was made to feel connected with other people that have a different culture. In this way, it creates empathy. Not just for Brazil’s interior but for the interior of every place in the world. I wanted to show that we are more connected than we think, we should sometimes show more interest to learn about those countries. I believe that it’s the journey all of us should take, by travelling or other means ».