Manoel Joaquim Martins Lourenço, better known as Juca Martins was born in Barcelos, Portugal in 1949 and moved with his family to São Paulo in 1957. Since he has started photographing in 1970, Juca has always been a politicized photographer, formed for a moment history, during which he fought against social injustices and for Latin American identity. His archive of images constitutes a historical patrimony gathered during a trajectory of more than 50 years.
During the military dictatorship, Juca worked as a photo reporter for the main Brazilian newspapers and magazines. He was present at some of the most remarkable moments of the social movements, such as the strikes of the bankers and metallurgists of ABC, led by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. In 1976, he was art director of the newspaper Movimento, one of the most active in opposition to the dictatorship. Three years later, he founded the F4 Photojournalism Agency, alongside Nair Benedicto, Ricardo Malta and Delfim Martins. The agency was largely responsible for important achievements for Brazilian photographers, such as the right to the negative and the creation of a price list for the commercialization of photos, which gave the photographer the power to choose who would publish their images. After the dissolution of F4, in 1991 he founded Pulsar Imagens, with Laura Del Mar and Delfim Martins. Juca also collaborated with newspapers and magazines abroad, always with a humanist look, covering armed conflicts in Lebanon, El Salvador and Guatemala. He spent some time in Cuba and was the first to document the mining of Serra Pelada, Pará, in 1980, a series of photos that earned him the Nikon International Award in 1981.
He is the author of several books and one of the greatest exponents of political photography in Brazil. He was awarded the Esso Photography Award 1980 (for the images of the report "Congonhas Rest Clinic" by Cecilia Prada, who received the Esso Prize for Reportage); with the Nikon International Prize also in 1979 (strike of the bankers in São Paulo); and the 1982 Wladimir Herzog Human Rights Award (coverage of the war in El Salvador).
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