Photographer Renato Stockler captured these aerial images of soccer fields in Sao Paulo — the largest city in South America. Seemingly a world away from the stadia of the World Cup, they are often in the most densely populated urban districts and are threatened by land development and speculation.
Renato describes his series — entitled Terrao de Cima (Elevated Terraces) — in his own words:
A “terrao” is an oasis in the urban landscape. The reddish tone of a soccer field turns into a stage of the resistance of popular soccer.
Some of them have their own football clubs, while others are public spots. Some of them are mainly dirt, while others are made of sand, or even rests of weathered grass. But they are a breath for the hard daily life of those who lives in the city of Sao Paulo outskirts.
These fields show the urgency for public and communal places to practice sports and to improve community living, a portrait of those who fight for leisure and a better life in a city such as Sao Paulo.
These fields are a solid basis of soccer’s spirit in Brasil, being coloured and powerful in face of the greyish scenario of the periferia houses. It’s not hard to find friends, relatives, adults and children cheering together for their local teams.
Even in face of social and political difficulties, a “terrao” show us the real soccer, far away from a society mediated by powerful media groups. The rawness of a “terrao”can’t be fitted as a media spectacle.
Renato Stockler is a professional photographer and photographic director of documentaries and short films based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Renato. He writes about mobile photography and believes in the capacity of photography for social mobilisation. You can visit Renato’s website, and follow him on Behance or on Instagram.