Born in Minas Gerais, Brazil, in 1983, Leonardo Carrato threw himself into a photographic journey in 2012 driven by his passion. Leo is based in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, and works as a photographer.
In 2013 trying to overcome the mainstream media and make information more democratic, he co-founded an independent media collective called Coletivo Carranca. Among 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,” which is an inside view of the riots that drove millions of people out on the streets of Rio de Janeiro.
In 2014, Leo started the 2-year multimedia project “Article 6” which explores the core of Rio’s social and housing problems documenting the life of hundreds of families living in extreme poverty inside an abandoned public building, a few meters away from the stadium where would hold the Football World Cup finals. Both projects had considerable exposure and have been exhibited all around the country.
The desire to connect with his continent’s native culture and unfold the hidden history carried Leo to the Amazon. Since 2015, he has been working on a long-term project about a native Bora shaman deep inside the rainforest. Also, to uncover the Brazilian search for a common identity, Leo is documenting with visual narratives stories, the sense of the collective memory, its ruins, and its scars which are still intrinsic and connected with the current issues. The intense concern is due to the traces of a colonial past still rooted and perceptible in Brazilian society. With photography and films, Leo desires 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 a tutor in a VII Academy seminar on Photojournalism and Documentary Photography for Latin American photographers.