Kate Saurman

Kate Saurman is a self-taught photographer. Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Kate has lived in northeast Brasil for the past 4 years doing a combination of social work and documentary projects. The objective of her early work was simply to mimic the process of distortion created by many individual eyes viewing the same reality through countless lenses; some dirty and broken, some idealistic. She shot 35mm film to create raw images that emphasize process over product and allow imperfection. As opportunities arose to shoot overseas, she began working digitally in the vein of street photography. Fascinated with the experience of individuals, but now amongst their greater society, cultural identity became an explorative theme of her work. In recent years, Kate has focused on using images for education, awareness, and activism in Recife, Brazil where she works with the marginalized and vulnerable populations.

The Olympic Anthem: As Sung by a River in January

The Olympic Anthem is a series exploring the aftermath of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The full project documents over 30 venues and locations arranged in the form the negative sleeves to demonstrate the scale of construction necessary to host these games. The images depict each site as it can be found today. Transforming the city of Rio was a 7-year project which had devastating effects on vulnerable populations. This project traces the promise of a legacy. Its purpose is to trace the story of the games through images, research, and interviews. While there are both tragic and victorious aspects to the Olympics, at the core of the event is an echoing voice of the marginalized in need of amplification. This work is created with an intention of memorializing a landscape that became perhaps one of the most notable backdrops in all Olympic history; the first games held in the developing world. Each of the images contained in this study is one piece of a puzzle and a footprint on the map of Rio. One by one they tell a much bigger story. After passing through stadiums, slums, and islands built for the elite – we are left with a spotlight exposing social issues still needing to be addressed. Both Rio’s strengths and weaknesses were revealed during the games, and yet the legacy of the event is something much greater than construction investments. It is written on the hearts of the most vulnerable and incomplete without understanding a journey that began before and continues after the games.

To view more of Kate Saurman’s work please visit their website.