“I can see the world through the camera lenses,” says 41-year-old Joao Maia da Silva.
An inflammation of the eye called uveitis left Joao Maia da Silva almost completely blind at 28-years-old, but could not stop him from becoming a photographer and fulfilling his dream of covering the Paralympic Games.
In 2003, the Brazilian took part in a photography course for visually impaired people. That started a career that reached its peak earlier this September when he covered Rio 2016 and became internationally known for his striking talent.
“I might have lost the physical vision but acquired the emotion and the sensitivity, both also indispensables to be a photographer,” he said.
“I can see the world through the camera lenses and want to tell stories through photography.”
Feeling lonely or just want to make new friends? Come join the MDM Club for free. The Club is our disability and NDIS community where you can chat in a safe, tolerant and respectful environment. Our Club members include people with autism, depression, anxiety, mental illness, blindness, deafness and many other disabilities.
Da Silva could be seen at every venue with photographer Ricardo Rosario, who describes to him the environment he will be shooting in.
“Once I know well how the conditions are, I appeal to all my five senses, especially hearing, to start taking photos,” he explained.
“I especially like football 5-a-side because people have to remain in silence and I can follow the ball´s and players´ sounds.”
The 41-year-old was an athlete, competing in javelin and shot put in regional events, where he used to take the camera to start shooting once his events were over.
“I started with sports and photography more or less at the same time. And I had the chance to take photos at