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Folha de S.Paulo: 100 years of Brazilian history in pictures

black and white image with the words "FOLHA: A lens on Brazil" over an old newspaper

For almost three decades, I have been working at Folha de S.Paulo, a São Paulo-based newspaper founded in 1921 that grew into one of the most influential and reliable sources of news in Brazil. Since 2019, I have led the newsroom as its editor-in-chief. Folha has covered all the most important moments in Brazilian history throughout the 20th century and we remain a trustworthy source of information for Brazilians by delivering high quality news every day, in real time.

In 2021, Folha celebrated its 100th anniversary and, throughout our history, we have built one of the most complete photographic archives in Brazil. This collection of photos, which helps us to understand the history of Brazil, is now available on Google Arts & Culture with over 10,000 images and 60 curated stories. The project offers a century-long perspective on Brazilian history and society, also serving as a unique view into world events from a Brazilian standpoint.

As we announce this project, we are proud to say that Folha is the first active newspaper to open up our archive on the platform through an immersive online experience where you can dive into our collection. You can explore stories from Brazilian cultural celebrations to historic sporting achievements and bold photographs that capture history in the making, along with the whimsical cartoons that graced our pages.

Visit for a full deep-dive into the archive or read on to discover five of my favorite highlights:

1. Landmark moments in journalism

Take a step further into the history of Brazil by entering a virtual gallery filled with some of the most memorable photos and immerse yourself in the collection. Listen to the voice of Luiz Rivoiro, the head of Folhapress (Folha's newswire agency), as he guides you through the images.

An isometric view of a virtual 3D gallery, with white exterior walls and a blue rooftop.

A Pocket Gallery with photos from the Folha collection

2. Views from São Paulo

São Paulo, the hometown of Folha de S. Paulo, is a pulsing icon of Brazil that invites you to step back in time. For history buffs, this sprawling metropolis offers a captivating glimpse into its mid-20th century past, with hauntingly beautiful scenes that unveil the city's rich and ever-evolving heritage.

A black-and-white photograph of a city square in the 1950s, with cars driving by the streets and billboards on the building façades

View of the João Mendes Square in São Paulo during the 1950s

3. The icons

Brazil's history is shaped by its iconic figures. From radio to TV screens, some have left a lasting mark on the nation's memory and Folha's archives. Think of TV presenter Hebe Camargo, stage actress Fernanda Montenegro, and Brazilian music legend Rita Lee. For sport fans, explore motorsport legend Ayrton Senna, or dive into the history of football reading about Pelé and Marta.

Photo portrait of man wearing a black cap and red pilot's suit raising a silver victory cup.

Ayrton Senna, photo by Jorge Araújo

4. Front pages

These pages also mark milestones like São Paulo's 450th anniversary and Folha's centennial celebration. A newspaper's front pages are pivotal and Folha's headlines showcase its wide-ranging reporting. From global to local, on a first page of Folha from the 1960s is where you'll find the Queen of England and the King of Football sharing the same space as a president of the United States. It is also where we can celebrate the milestones, such as the 450th anniversary of São Paulo, the city where it all started, or even our own, with a very special first page where we honor Folha's 100 years.

A black-and-white print from the sixties with photos of Richard Nixon, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip flanked by news articles. The headline reads "Nixon ahead of Humphrey"

The first page of the Folha newspaper print edition of November 6, 1968

5. Sights for all

Much of Brazil's natural beauty emanates from its breathtaking landscapes. From the north to the south and coast to center, the diverse scenery is sure to captivate every reader. Beach enthusiasts can relish the coastal allure of São Paulo and the bustling port of Santos, the largest in Latin America. Nature lovers can explore the rich biodiversity of the Pantanal and the wonders of the Brazilian Amazon, while party enthusiasts will find the vibrant Carnival celebrations a must-see.

Landscape photo of a dense rainforest with lush trees on the foreground and the cloudy skies above them

Preserved area of Amazonian Forest in Uruará, in the state of Pará

I hope you join me in discovering the power of photojournalism and exploring Folha: A Lens on Brazil online and on the Google Arts & Culture app for Android and iOS.

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