Born in Minas Gerais, Brazil, in 1983, Leonardo Carrato immersed himself in a photographic journey in 2012 driven by his passion. Leo is based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and works as a photographer and filmmaker.
In 2013, aiming to overcome the mainstream media and make information more democratic, he co-founded an independent media collective called Coletivo Carranca. Within the group, he could finally give voice to the deep and organic stories of the streets of Rio de Janeiro. While working as an independent photographer in this horizontal media group, Leo developed the project called “The Uprising,” providing an inside view of the riots that brought millions of people out onto the streets of Rio de Janeiro.
In 2014, Leo initiated the two-year multimedia project “Article 6,” which explores the core of Rio’s social and housing problems, documenting the lives of hundreds of families living in extreme poverty inside an abandoned public building, a few meters away from the stadium where the Football World Cup finals would be held. Both projects gained considerable exposure and were exhibited all around the country.
The desire to connect with his continent’s native culture and unveil the hidden history led Leo to the Amazon. Since 2015, he has been working on a long-term project about a native Bora shaman deep inside the rainforest. Additionally, to uncover the Brazilian search for a common identity, Leo is documenting stories with visual narratives, focusing on the sense of collective memory, its ruins, and its scars, which are still intrinsic and connected with current issues. The intense concern is due to the traces of a colonial past still rooted and perceptible in Brazilian society. Through photography and films, Leo aims to unveil the problematic historical development of his country.
Leo recently completed the Mentor Program at VII Photo Agency and hosts a series of conversations on, and writes about, Brazilian photography for VII Insider. At the moment, Leo is an educator in a VII Academy seminar on Photojournalism and Documentary Photography for Latin American photographers. In 2024, he joined the VII Foundation and the VII Photo Agency as a full member and a contributing photographer.