"I'm proud to have overcome the challenges that young people face in violent communities. I followed a path that wasn't the easiest in the eyes of other young people."
Fabio Santos is an artist from Rio de Janeiro.
"I'm the son of a single mother, and I was born when was only 14. My grandmother raised me and, unfortunately, she died when I was eight years old," he says.
"After that, I went to live with my uncle who became both a father and a teacher to me. He taught me how to carve relief panels in wood. I observed him closely and accompanied him while he worked day by day.
"I'm proud to have overcome the challenges that young people face in violent communities. I followed a path that wasn't the easiest in the eyes of other young people. When I was 14, I lived alone. I had learned how to carve from my uncle and my first workshop was on a sidewalk, where I sold my relief panels. When the sun was too strong or if it was too hot, I'd stop working until the weather got better.
"I'm inspired by the images of familiar hillside communities. I use cedar and consider it to be the ideal type of wood to carve. I am married and the father of two children.
"I participate in the Hippie Fair in Ipanema, where I exhibit and sell my work with the help of my wife, Neide. To earn a place in this fair, I worked on carving wood in front of evaluators and was chosen from among many candidates. My uncle has also had his own spot in the fair since the 1980s.
"Today, I can say I am a success and I feel happy with my art because I enjoy my work. I hope for a better future where people can love their neighbors more."