Public outrage sparks from Gordon Parks' photos of a boy in Brazilian slums

Flávio da Silva, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1961, Gordon Parks, gelatin silver print. The J. Paul Getty Museum. Purchased with funds provided by the Photographs Council. Credit: © The Gordon Parks Foundation.

In1961, Gordon Parks photographed South America’s poorest neighborhoods for Life magazine. While shooting in a Rio De Janeiro slum, Parks met 12-year-old Flávio da Silva. He took photos of the boy carrying 40-pound jugs of water, feeding his infant siblings, and having violent asthma attacks. The images sparked a global conversation about representation in the media and exploitation. They're on display now at the Getty's temporary exhibition: "Gordon Parks: The Flávio Story."


Untitled (Flávio da Silva), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1961, Gordon Parks. © The Gordon Parks Foundation.

Catacumba Favela, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, negative 1961, Gordon Parks. © The Gordon Parks Foundation.