Waiting for the Carnival /
Waiting for the Carnival
On most days, Toritama, a small town in northwestern Brazil, is filled with the din of sewing machines and irons, the whistles of laborers carrying goods, and the chatter of workers toiling in countless little workshops. Toritama is “the capital of jeans”, and the vast majority of its inhabitants make a living by cutting, sewing, designing patches and tears, and recycling worn fabrics. They work around the clock in cramped spaces for meager pay, but they have wonderful stories to tell. Only once a year is this onerous routine broken: on the day of the Carnaval, the town empties. To finance this vacation, the locals sell everything they have, down to the refrigerators. At the end of the festivities—a mere few days spent on a beach in a neighboring town—they go back to work, back to dreaming about the next Carnaval.