Since my move to the UK, in 2013, I have been exploring the idea of belonging. Growing up in Brazil, I used to take aspects of my roots for granted and, would overvalue certain aspects of the Swedish culture, the other cultural pillar of my upbringing. This would always lead me to feel inadequate in both cultures.
However, the longer I live abroad, the less I feel the need to fit in with either the Brazilian or the Swedish culture. I finally came to terms with the fact that belonging is related to a state of mind rather than with a physical place.
Still, during a recent trip to my home country, I felt the need to reconnect and develop my idea of Brazil. It was only after spending years abroad that I was able to fully appreciate aspects of my culture, through a new perspective. Despite not having a close relationship with nature while growing up, the rain forest wasn’t something new to me. Yet, I went on a hike in the South of Bahia, in the middle of the rain forest, to reach a secluded beach, that impressed me. The abundance and exuberance of the plants and the diversity of species were striking.
After returning to the UK, I still felt the need to continue exploring the rain forest through pictures. The closest I could get to this environment in London was the Palm House, in Kew Gardens, where they keep a vast array of tropical plants. I realised then, that given the right conditions and stimuli, those plants that do not belong to the British flora were able to adapt and bloom.
The images here are not presented in a chronological and/or geographical order. This is in an attempt to show that to belong to a culture, one does not need to be physically immersed in it.