Abstract

The renowned photographer Gordon Parks, from LIFE Magazine, came to Brazil in June 1961 when he presented a story with an effusive photo session about a poor family that lived in the slums of Rio de Janeiro.  This report reinforced national pride and, as a result, brazilian magazine “O Cruzeiro” prepared a response with a story based on the same characteristics about a poor Puerto Rican family in NY. One of Gordon Parks’ best known photographs and always present in all compilations about his work is also one of the best photographs from LIFE.  Called “Flávio da Silva, 1961”, it was the cause for another story, published in July 1961, when the boy was taken to be medically trated in the USA. The Photo has great dramatic appeal and shows the boy lying in bed in a baroque light, depicting the pain of a young skeletal amid covers shaped by waves next to a picture that suggests the idea of death. These stories from LIFE were ideologically related to a north american diplomatic position in the search of political partners in South America in order to achieve a strategical position  against the advance of the Cuban revolution and popular movements.