I first met Peruzzo at the climbing gym a few years ago when he was establishing a new life for himself in Victoria, BC, Canada. I was immediately struck by his incredible enthusiasm for climbing and his friendly, outgoing nature. It was impossible not to feel psyched with Peruzzo cheering you on, whether warming up on a V0 or flailing on a 5.13. It was only later, as he began venturing to the local outdoor crags and boulders, that his true skill became apparent—this man is a remarkable photographer. He seems uniquely capable of capturing the compelling interactions between climber, rock, and surrounding landscape.
Read on to find out how his cultural background, career path, and relationships combined to produce the powerful images he has captured. It is about time for this talented photographer to step briefly from behind the lens and into the limelight.
- Name: Kl. Peruzzo de Urzedo Oliveira Andrade (Peruzzo)
- Website: www.przvida.com
- Instagram: @peruzzo.prz
- Hometown: Uberlândia, MG Brazil
- Years climbing: 6
- Years taking photos: 7
Were you a climber first or a photographer?
Photography found me first when a friend gifted me a camera at the age of 14, however, I only began to work professionally as I entered into the climbing world.
How did you become a photographer? Who or what influenced and inspired you?
At the age of 22, I had been working for a few years as an Art Director in an advertising agency and began to work more closely with other photographers. Because I had been working with my own camera since the age of 14, I began to see the possibilities of photography as a career or pathway for my own personal work.
In terms of who inspired and influenced me: this is my family. My truest inspirations were art and people.
People like my grandmother, my grandfather, my parents. People who work the Land, who speak the truth and act the truth through their lives. People who embody simplicity and honor. Through my relationships with my family, I began to see myself more clearly through my own work and visual storytelling.
Who am I behind the lens? What story do I want to share? Who am I responsible to with my work?
My family were the ones who allowed me to ask these questions and to position myself in a place of meaning and passion.
I was also privileged to meet and be mentored by local photographers to my region and city along the way.
What type of camera do you use? Do you have a favorite piece of photography gear?
Gear is gear. I don’t have a favorite piece, but since I began I have been working with an Analog Canon and have used exclusively Canon products. Technology changes so quickly these days and often it feels inaccessible to keep up with the newest and most developed equipment, however, I truly believe that the quality is in the eyes and in the heart.
You grew up in Brazil, but are now based in Victoria, BC. Describe the journey that brought you to Canada and how it influenced your photography.
I laughed out-loud when I read this question … this is a long story. In short, I was well established in Brazil with my work and personal career. However, along the way, I met the love of my life. I followed her north and am now here.
I have been traveling back and forth over the past few years, maintaining good work relationships and opportunities in Brazil.
How would you define your photographic style? What do you hope to capture when photographing climbers?
Many of us come from ancestral lines devastated by histories of colonial violence. Many of us are left picking up the pieces of our identities, land-based knowledge, cultural teachings, and our own stories.
For me, my work as a filmmaker, photographer, and media-maker is a responsibility.
I understand my work as an Art of Connection: that which binds together both ancestral belonging to our own self-proclaimed futurisms; and through these stories, we not only remember, but we are re-made.
In my work, I exclusively employ indigenous research and storytelling methodologies, which situates me in a place of accountability and relationship. My work is a constant interaction and relationship to places, to people, to self, to others, to Land, and to Spirit. We are all positioned in an expansive constellation of relationships, and I believe the responsibility of my work is to invoke shared reflections, consciousness, and accountability to one another.
The description above is what grounds my everyday work in all of my photography. When applied to the climbing world, I hope to capture and inspire a deep and meaningful relationship between person and the Land.
What is your favorite destination for climbing? For photography?
To be honest, I am not attached to any specific destination—I am happy when I am climbing! However, I feel truly at home when I am climbing in Brazil, specifically in Minas Gerais and Goais.
Each area has its unique appeal and at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter where; because when I am climbing, I am alive and I am happy.
Do you have any dream destination(s) that you have yet to visit?
I really don’t dream about visiting one specific place, but rather trust that life will always direct me to where I need to be. There are so many places around the world that would be incredible to visit, climb in and photograph, but I choose to be happiest in the present.
Is there anyone or anything you would particularly love to photograph?
I would love to photograph a climbing trip with climbers of color, in a climbing hot spot such as Kalymnos, Spain, Thailand or China. It would be incredible to work specifically with local climbers in each of these places. I believe it would be so enriching to travel and climb together, as well as talk about the visibility of athletes of color and our own relationship to climbing and to the Land.
Aside from your climbing photography, you have taken many powerful photos of First Nations people both in Canada and Brazil. How did you get involved in this project and how has it impacted your life and photography?
Since arriving here in Canada, the nature of my photography is changing. I hope to never stop changing, growing and transforming both personally and in my work.
My own identity is deeply intertwined with my work as a photographer. I am a mix of Afro—indigenous and European ancestry, and as for many indigenous communities here in Canada (and Brazil), our identities are grounded in relationship to Land and Water. This is a seamless connection to the relationship that I have when I am climbing on the rock.
My partner is also of mixed indigenous ancestry, and as climbers, we try to incorporate our own cultural teachings in how we access climbing spots through acknowledging and respecting local protocols of indigenous nations.
We always ask for permission when we visit new territories and climbing spots, and acknowledge that climbing actually presents the opportunity to honor indigenous nations and build relationships with local communities in each crag.
Any other comments you’d like to make?
Thank you so much for considering my work and vision. I am so grateful.
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