29 July 2019

The Faith of a Mystical Brazilian Community

29 July 2019 - Written by PhMuseum

In his series The Sunrise Valley, Brazilian photographer Gui Christ looks to shed light on the magical reality of a valley near Brasilia that is populated by a community of people sharing unusual spiritualistic beliefs.

During the construction of the new Brazilian capital, esoteric leader Neiva Zelaia moved to Brasilia and bought a small ranch in a valley to start a small esoteric community that, according to her spiritual guides, would light humanity to a new era.

Based on this belief, Zelaia built a large religious complex mixing the aesthetics and symbols of ancient civilisations. From an Egyptian pyramid to a huge image of Jesus Christ in front of an Incan temple, a village grew around these esoteric structures and that mystical imagery became part of its residents’ daily life.

Decades later, The Sunrise Valley has turned into a district of 25,000 residents where men driving motorcycles in Celtic wizard costumes or women holding Greek spears while shopping can be easily found in the streets. It has become a spiritualistic doctrine with over 800,000 followers and 700 temples in Brazil, Europe, and North-America.

Words and Pictures by .


Gui Christ is a Brazilian photographer focusing on social and cultural issues in his homeland, bringing new perspectives to ignored or unexplored themes. He collaborates on special projects with Time Magazine, National Geographic, The Washingon Post, and Los Angeles Times, among others. Find him on PHmuseum and Instagram.


This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PHmuseum curators.

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