2019 Fintech & Financing Conference and Expo: FEARLESS, April 3-4, Toronto Canada

Crowdfunding The Beauty and Burden Behind Carnaval in Pernambuco Project


Posted by: Craig Asano  (November 27, 2012)

Support Jason Gardner , a passionate artist and his latest Brazilian project to create a photography book showing the culture, music and rituals of the authentic, folkloric Carnaval festival in Pernambuco, Brazil.

Support The Beauty and Burden Behind Carnaval in Pernambuco campaign:  here

A Flower in The Mouth will be a photography book showing the rich cultural heritage of Pernambuco, an area often overlooked by international visitors. It will contain images and interviews of the people shaping this dynamic culture, as well as writing from my experiences.

Carnaval in Recife, Olinda, and the cane cutting zona de mata countryside is full of color, sound, and ceremonies, different from the spectacles of Rio de Janeiro and Salvador da Bahia. Nearly everything is free and on the streets - anyone can join the celebration. Yet Carnaval here is more than the widely held perception of a wild party - it is a folkloric festival backed by a rich mix of culture, ritual and music.

There's also more to it: Carnaval ranges from the public spectacle to a private journey of ritual and renewal. Because I kept on returning to the region, I was invited to the rituals that happen behind closed doors, ones that show the other side of Carnaval. Over multiple visits, I learned about the cycle of traditions linked to the yearly festival, as well as the efforts to prepare for it.

This book is a work of visual anthropology, documenting Pernambuco's Carnaval in its current state before outside influence alters it forever.


Funds raised will support the final design and printing of the book which will be published in 2013, in advance of the World Cup (2014) and Olympics (2016) in Brazil



Large scale landscape format, 120-160 pages printed in brilliant four color, with hard image wrap cover, perfect bound and smythe sewn.

Distribution: USA and Brazil, and Europe is planned. There will be Portuguese translation of all text in the book.

Below is a rough estimate of the costs:

  • $12,000 to get copies printed and shipped to all three regions (US Europe Brazil)
  • $3,750 for the rest of design and pre-press production of book
  • $1,500 for a professional editor of all text
  • $1,000 for translation of all text
  • $1,600 in Kickstarter / Amazon fees (8% of total)
  • $150 for ISBN number


All images are available as part of limited edition series of prints, for certain award levels.  Sample below:


Celebration - Carnaval in Pernambuco is colorful and intimate, with a rich blend of musical culture, Afro-Brazilian influences, western religion and a cast of characters both whimsical and fearsome. Booming maracatu troops parade, showing their pride in their African heritage. In the zona da mata countryside, burly male sugarcane workers transform into buxom, colorfully clad ladies. In Olinda, a UNESCO World Heritage site, costumed revelers overload the sloped cobblestoned byways. Past and future collide, cultures mingle in a passionate reinvention of local identity, and the region blossoms into a kaleidoscope of music, dance, and ritual.

“Why do we perform, why do we do all this work? Competition is one reason. You want to be more beautiful. You want to sing better than the others. But it’s not only competition, you know? It’s really complex, but it’s also simple:     We do it because we like it.”


Current Kickstarter Campaign Status:

Other Resources:

Jason Gardner's Visual Anthropology website:  here