In Hebrew, Golgotha stands for “The Place of the Skull”, in the Bible this is the hill where Jesus was crucified. In the Roman Empire, this was the cruelest penalty. In Israel Golgotha is the main site of pilgrimage. In modern Brazil, Golgotha has two meanings — it is the territory of a death machine, but also the place of sacrifice, resurrection, and redefinition of meaning. This project tries to understand the different facets of evangelization in the country, looking at the ways in which evangelicals appropriate and incorporate symbols, images, instruments and other aspects of ancestral Brazilian religions and popular culture. Many of these appropriations challenge the notions of purity and sanctity. What is the genuine Brazilian particularity that shapes this evangelical expansion? This story reveals the different layers of the same faith in a very diverse and complex country. It looks at the place where the people put their faith, sometimes their money, and where many lay their ambitions and their feelings of anguish.. Ian Cheibub has covered a range of aspects relating to the evangelicals in Brazil, juxtaposing religion, politics, and social issues. Evangelical militias and drug dealers, indigenous conversion, megachurches, evangelical caucus in congress and conflict with Afro Brazilian religions are highlighted in this story. Each year 14,000 evangelical churches are opened in Brazil and by 2032 the number of evangelicals in the country will be higher than that of Catholics. This growth advances in institutional spaces, in the legislative and executive branches, in schools and in the media. This is one of the most important mass phenomena of the century, but very little is known by the international community. This greatly impacts the Catholic Church. Russia had a revolution but remained orthodox Catholic. The United States, even through the Civil War, remained Protestant. Among these large countries, changes like this only occurred as a result of wars and revolutions. In Brazil, the revolution is silent.
Ian Cheibub (b.1999) is a visual storyteller based in Brazil studying media at Universidade Federal Fluminense. In his work, Ian tries to understand the mechanisms the people from the Global South develop to survive, and how they empower their own narratives through cultural, political and social tools. He is also interested in how their and our reality is changed through this empowerment. His areas of interest are related to human rights, religion and popular culture. Ian currently works covering stories in Brazil for international media outlets. His photographic and videographic works have also been published, among other outlets, in GEO Magazine, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, De Volkskrant, STERN, VICE, NRC. In 2019, his project Jurujuba was named the Best Portfolio for the Canon Student Program, he was nominated for the Coup de Cœur Prize by ANI (Association des Iconographes) and was a finalist at the Paraty em Foco Festival. In 2021 he won the Ian Parry Scholarship with his long-term project Golgotha, as well as being awarded gold at the CPOY competition. In 2022, he and nine other photographers from Latin America participated in a mentorship program held by the VII Agency with Monica Allende.