Dan Agostini

2020 - Ongoing

São Paulo, Brazil

The process of autonomy is the quest for many transgender women who live in support houses such as Florescer in São Paulo. With housing support, food, and social projects that enable possibilities of re-socialization, these women plan their future and uncertain dreams.

During the years 2020 and 2021 I have been documenting the lives of some of the women who currently live and previously lived in this house in order to understand how the social context in which they are inserted can impact and enhance the state of vulnerability that many of them live in and to understand the possibilities and difficulties that can be encountered during the process of autonomy and economic independence.

The images in this project present the faces and bodies that carry these stories and record the reality of their daily life. Paloma is the name of one of these women who told their stories about violence, prostitution, helplessness, imprisonment, dreams and courage.

Brazil continues to be the leader among the countries that have murdered the most trans people in the world. When survival is possible, transsexual women encounter difficulties in the social and economic context that make the right to exist in a fair and dignified way impossible. Difficulties related to health, housing, food and social relationships are part of the challenges encountered during the autonomy process, when these women seek social inclusion in search of independence.

Documenting the daily lives of transsexual women who find themselves in vulnerable conditions and in search of autonomy is a record of stories that repeat each other, it is hearing about family helplessness, prejudice and lack of access. It is a record about the urgency of changes tied to the strength and courage of these women in (re)existing.

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  • Portraits of women who have already participated in the project and documents with a social name.

  • Dry wig in the outside area of the house where Savanna lived with Celina. Savanna was responsible for taking care of the house chores such as cooking and cleaning while the other residents worked as sex workers. Savanna left the house due to conflicts with the other girls and is currently living in a shelter for drug addicts.

  • Lolla does sound and image tests before starting live streaming at a support home for transgender women where she lives in Sao Paulo. The account @juntoscomalolla in the Instagram has over 13 thousand followers. There, Lolla shares a little bit of her life and conducts lives about transsexuality and transphobia.

  • Bed and slippers by Camilla Moretty. At the age of 59 Camilla left the farm where she lived with her family in the interior of São Paulo to the capital, due to threats from her ex-boyfriend. In the city of São Paulo she lived in 5 hostels, among them Casa Florescer I and II, a year ago she rented a house with the financial help of social projects she participates in, it is the first time Camilla lives alone.

  • Jamilly during a walk on the beach in Santos, Sao Paulo. Jamilly still lives in Casa Florescer II, where she shares space with 30 other transgender women. Jamilly is looking for work and social projects to be able to leave the house and live with her boyfriend.

  • Outside Camilla's house. Since arriving in Sao Paulo Camilla has finished school, completed a informatics course and is currently attending a theater course.

  • Barbara and Mirella watch the street from the window of a hotel room in downtown São Paulo. Barbara has been in 4 support houses since she was kicked out of her home by her mother.

  • Erika poses for a portrait while working as a sex worker on the streets of Sao Paulo.

  • Celina Ferraz (20) and Barbara Garcia (22) work at the Praça do Jaçanã, a prostitution spot near the Casa Florescer II, where they lived together in 2020. Barbara works as a sex worker eventually, only when there are financial emergencies because she is unemployed. Celina works as a sex worker full time. Currently Barbara lives in another support home in downtown Sao Paulo, and Celina shares a house with other transgender women who also work as sex workers.

  • Paula's room in her new rented house in the northern part of São Paulo.

  • Paula lies on the bed in her house where she lives with Carla. Paula is a chemical dependent and has been struggling to reduce her addiction.

  • Savanna during a visit to Paula and Carla's home.

  • Bathroom in Paula and Carla's house.

  • Celina combs a wig in the house where she lives in São Paulo.

  • Savanna, Geisa and Carla in an apartment during a visit to the beach in the city of Santos, São Paulo. The trip to the beach is part of one of the activities of the Transgressoras social project, a paid arts project for transsexual women who have been in prison.

  • Bárbara (22) and Mirella Santos (22) in a hotel room in the Bom Retiro neighborhood in downtown São Paulo. Bárbara was disconnected from Casa Florescer I at the end of April 2021 due to an anxiety crisis that caused damage to one of the doors.

  • Mirella Santos (22) poses for a portrait on Barbara's (22) lap during a walk in Roosevelt Park. Bárbara and Mirella started their relationship when they lived at Casa Florescer I in São Paulo. They dated for 2 months and broke up when Barbara moved from the Florescer I to the Florescer II and when Mirella decided to return to live on the streets.

  • Celina applies female hormone in Stefany in one of the bathrooms of the support house for transsexual women in São Paulo. The injection of hormone without medical monitoring can be harmful due to lack of knowledge about dosage and hormone levels in the body, which can lead to diseases such as thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and circulation problems.

  • Geisa and Claudia go into the sea during a walk along the São Paulo coast.

  • Savanna walks on the sea during the trip to the city of Santos, Brazil. The trip was an initiative of the Transgressoras social project, with the purpose of artistic practice and relaxation. Some of the women present saw the sea for the first time during this trip.