Paula Mariane is the first civilian to do a long-term photographic project in the Brazilian Army
The book Laços de Honra (Ties of Honor), which approaches the formation of combatant officers of the Brazilian Army, will be released by the Army Library (BIBLIEx) on December 15. The work, authored by photojournalist Paula Mariane, 25, is the result of an independent project in which the author documented, for five years, the routine of four educational institutions of the land force.
In the period from 2016 to 2020, Paula photographed the Army Cadet Preparatory School (EsPCEx), the Black Needles Military Academy (AMAN), the Officer Improvement School (EsAO), and the Army Command and Staff School (ECEME).
“The training of the combatant officer of the Brazilian Army lasts five years. The first year takes place at the EsPCEx, in Campinas (SP), and the following four years take place at the Academia Militar das Agulhas Negras, in Resende (RJ). The last two institutions included in the project, EsAO and ECEME, are graduate schools, i.e., more focused on improvement and higher military studies. The officers have the opportunity to attend them throughout their military careers,” explains the author.
The book will be available for sale in physical stores and on the BIBLIEx website.
First contact with the Army
Paula had her first contact with the theme in 2015, when the Army promoted a course aimed at college students in Campinas (SP). At the time, she was in the first year of the Journalism college at PUC-Campinas, where she graduated with a full scholarship.
“At the time, I received an e-mail regarding a course called Military Affairs Correspondent Internship (ECAM). I was interested in the subject and enrolled. The completion of the course was a watershed for me. I realized that I had spent a good part of my life without really knowing what the Armed Forces were. That awakened something in me, and then I thought of doing something to bring information to people,” she says.
In February 2016, the photojournalist presented herself at EsPCEx, where the training of the combatant officer begins, and demonstrated her interest in documenting the school’s routine. “The commander, at the time, said: stay as long as necessary. That was all I needed to hear,” he says. “It was a vote of confidence. And I’m very grateful for that.”
Paula recalls that a new class was entering the school in that period, which enabled her to record the students’ training from the beginning. “After EsPCEx, I followed the same class at AMAN for the next four years, that is, until 2020,” she reports.
She says that the lack of knowledge was the biggest motivation to do a project on the subject. “With this work, I sought to strengthen the integration between civilians and the military, bringing more transparency about military training to Brazilian society,” she says.
During the production of the photographic project, Paula had to conciliate her studies and work.
“I did the photo coverage independently. Many difficulties came up along the way,” she says. “I traveled several times with only the one-way ticket, just to keep on photographing and accompanying the group. It was a mission that I had to accomplish.
The photojournalist says that having faith was essential. “Faith sustained me in many moments. When you have a purpose, challenges should not be a hindrance, but a drive for you to move forward,” she says.
“Pioneering has a high price, but once you get there, you know you have opened doors for more people. And that is priceless,” concludes the photojournalist.
About the author
Paula Mariane is a photojournalist and writer, born in Votorantim (SP). She graduated in Journalism at Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas (PUC-Campinas) and is a specialist in International Relations. Speaker at TEDx Campinas 2019. Idealizer of the project “Laços de Honra” (Ties of Honor), in which she documented the trajectory of the combatant officer of the Brazilian Army, being the first person to make a long-term photographic series in the Land Force.
Paula had two photos selected among the 50 best in the Portrait category of the Sony World Photography Awards 2016, considered one of the biggest photography awards in the world. In addition, she represented Brazil twice at a world peace conference in Switzerland.
Launch of the book “Laços de Honra” (Ties of Honor)
Date: December 15, 2022
Sale: stores and website of the Army Library (BIBLIEx) – https://lojavirtual.bibliex.eb.mil.br/.
*** Translated by the DEFCONPress FYI Team ***