While traveling in Brazil, I noticed members of the middle class rarely opened themselves the door of their respective buildings. While the profession of doorman is getting scarce in Europe, it is extremely common in Brazil. It amounts to waiting for someone to demonstrate his will to enter or exit in order to open the door. This example reflects a much wider reality, which is that of service jobs which have all but disappeared in Europe while still being an integral part of the daily Brazilian city life.
Doormen, liftmen or valets are all strangely connected by the waiting which is an integral part of their activity: having to achieve always this same gesture, repetitive and dispensable. An imaginary need made possible by considerable wage differences, or in other words a cheap workforce facing a middle class who can afford these services.
It is this paid waiting, fraught with meaning, that I wish to explore in this project through a series of contextual portraits realized in Brazil, more precisely in Rio de Janeiro.
But Brazil is changing. The job market is growing thanks to booming economy of the country which just became the world's sixth economic power after passing the United Kingdom in 2011. The minimum wage was multiplied by 3 in the past ten years, reaching 678 Reais per month (around 300$). The relevant population, the emerging middle class which is referred to as "Class C" keeps getting more and more opportunities in the job market and is beginning to disregard this type of job which does not allow any income or professional evolution. Moreover the traditional middle class ("Class B") who has enjoyed these services for over two centuries is slowly losing the ability to afford them. While salaries have increase for everyone, the purchasing power has gone down drastically making these jobs progressively outdated. Rio de janeiro, Brazil, 2006-2015.