Callao district has the biggest port of Peru. It is a peninsula, which used to occuppied by the upper class – generating great architectural colonial homes -, but the city’s expansion to the south generated an urban migration and therefore left most of empty. These abandoned houses were left to be administered by the government. They then became occupied by people with low income, like fisherman and the port labourers.

I recently came back to the neighbourhood since a friend of mine, that has a sustainable street clothing brand, wanted to do a shoot. I wanted to do a shoot with the kids of callao. I had previously shot pictures with them for a brand named Pieta. Conversing and showing one of the kids the iconic picture of the seven boys in front of the car, he immediately started to tell me, the present condition of these characters.

Three of the kids in the picture had long since moved to other neighbourhoods, they were being chased by the police and were hiding. Usually robberies with guns and drugs were the ailments/most common scenarios. “You can still find some of them” he said “they only come back at night”.

Many of the kids of Callao prefer these dubious paths since they don´t believe they will get anything out of school and education. In their context this is the only way to thrive. It’s a hard neighbourhood and almost everyone has a family member either father or brothercoming in and out of jail, trapped in this vicious cycles involving gangs, drug trafficking and escalating robberies.

This is their way to be come cool: kids wearing the new sneakers, best street brand clothes, driving cars, being gangsters. This is how they live. This is their story.


Photography & words ALEXANDER NEUMANN