Local Celebrities

If you google Lady Gaga you will get almost 800 million results. His teenage fans in Jakarta adore Justin Bieber, in the same way as in Medellin and Seattle. Lindsay Lohan’s misfortunes are followed in real time by millions of internauts who have never seen any of her movies.

Fame is an exportable and global product.

But if you reverse the telescope, you will see another type of fame. The local celebrity.

A local celebrity is someone who is clearly and undoubtedly famous in a limited geographical area. Everybody knows this person thanks to something he does or did in the past. His or her reputation and fame radius have to be in inverse relation in order to be a real local celebrity: a largely renowned name in a tiny area.

In my two-year travels through the 5 continents I discovered some local celebrities and soon realised they are like a rare litmus test of the society they live in, a privileged point of view to look at it, a bolt to open its door.

Inventors, singers, athletes, cooks, local TV anchormen, comedians, professors, brave and eccentric people, hairdressers, immigrants, bar tenders, indomitable characters and artists. Almost endless is the number of typologies of male and female local celebrities. They are admired, but they are also your neighbours. They might have appeared on the pages of a national newspaper once and their press cutting is turning yellow in a frame in the living room, but they represent the opposite of the Warhol-like moment of glory. They will be always famous in their country, town or neighbourhood. People talk about them at the bar and race to offer them a drink when they enter. They are called by their first name.

They all have got an interesting story, which probably crystallized in a night of twenty years ago, when they were protagonists of an heroic feat, or maybe happens on a daily basis on their school desks.

They are not freaks, but, indeed, they are the best of normality.


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  • Ron Adness

    Ron Adness

    Ron Adness, 67 – Stanley, North Dakota
    Stanley is a really small city in the north part of North Dakota, really close to the canadian border. Few years ago somebody has discovered a oilfield under the ground of Stanley. The owner of that lands became rich in one night. Ron is really famous in Stanley because until 5 years ago he was a simple farmer but now he’s one of the richest man of the state.

    Ron Adness

  • Michael Sharp

    Michael Sharp

    Michael Sharp, 33 – Homer, Alaska
    Everybody in Homer, a small town in the south peninsula of Alaska, knows Michael Sharp! Why? Because he goes to surf in the cold water of alaskan sea every single day of his life, even when the temperature is – 25°! You don’t believe it? check this blog: www.surfalaska.net

    Michael Sharp

  • Abdrahen Abouzd

    Abdrahen Abouzd

    Abdrahen Abouzd, 38 – Lala Khwira, Morocco

    A few kilometers from the center of the small town of Lala Khwira on the Moroccan coast in the Atlantic Ocean, there is a small village of fishermen. Each of them has boat except Abdrahem. He goes fishing in the ocean with a tube of a big truck. He became a legend two years ago when he was able to catch a big tuna just throwing the net from floating on the water with his tube!

    Abdrahen Abouzd

  • Mauro

    Mauro

    Mauro, 38 – Bocas del Toro, Panama
    Mauro is the most famous baker in Bocas Del Toro. The reason? Simple: he is the only one who takes his bicycle every morning and goes to deliver the bread in the homes of people all over the village. One of the very few cases of home deliveries in town!

    Mauro

  • XXX

    XXX

    XXX, the band – Dempasar, Bali. Indonesia
    XXX is the name of the most famous rock band in Bali. In the picture, from left to right, the three brothers Rahtwo, Rahtut and Rahmink. They are superstars in Bali but nobody knows them if the go out of their small island! In Dempasar the usually play concerts for 10000 fans but when they went to play in Jakarta there was almost nobody at the concert. They really are local celebrities!

    XXX

  • Erich Sligh

    Erich Sligh

    Erich Sligh, 35. Redwood Valley , California
    Erich Sligh is one of the many marijuana growers in Mendocino County but he’s probably the most famous because he’s also the editor and publisher of the magazine “Grow”, the most popular magazine about marijuana in the west coast.

    Erich Sligh

  • Davide Castro

    Davide Castro

    Davide Castro, 42 – Sao Paulo, Brazil
    David is a Muslim activist. He’s one of the founders of the first mosque of the favela where he lives. He was a Franciscan monk until 5 years ago. He decided to change his faith and convert to muslim religion because he says that muslim is the closest religion to poor people and he’s sure that is the most helpful for people in the brasilian favelas. davide is a celebrity in his favelas, everybody know him because he’s always goes around his area, visiting people at home, going door to door. He’s been able to convert a lot of people to islam and now his mosque is always full of people.

    Davide Castro

  • Lolo Beaubrum

    Lolo Beaubrum

    Lolo Beaubrum, 52 (and part of his band) – Port Au Prince, Haiti
    Lolo Beaubrun is one of the most popular and recognizable musicians in Haiti. He leads the 12-person band Boukman Eksperyans. It plays a mix of rock, reggae and Voodoo trance music.
    He’s a big star in Haiti!
    In this photo he’s together with his wife and two elements of his band.

    Lolo Beaubrum

  • Moe

    Moe

    Moe, 57 – Whitehorse, Canada
    The Yukon Quest 1,000-mile International Sled Dog Race, or simply Yukon Quest, is a sled dog race run every February between Fairbanks, Alaska, and Whitehorse, Yukon. Because of the harsh winter conditions, difficult trail, and the limited support that competitors are allowed, it is considered the “most difficult sled dog race in the world”, or even the “toughest race in the world. Moe is one of the oldest women who have ever run the Yukon Quest, this is why she’s a celebrity in her town.

    Moe

  • Dayana, Danielle and Denise

    Dayana, Danielle and Denise

    Dayana, Danielle and Denise, 11 – Candido Godoi, Brazil
    Dayana, Danielle and Denise, 11 years old. They are known in Candido Godoi like the “trigemeas.” Dayana and Danielle are identical twins while Denise is their fraternal triplet. Candido Godoi is a small town in the south of Brazil, it’s well known as “the city of twins” because around 15% of the population as twins. The three girls in the photos are the only triple twins of the town, this is why they are famous in Candido Godoi.

    Dayana, Danielle and Denise

  • Roberto Lorenzini

    Roberto Lorenzini

    Roberto Lorenzini, 37 – Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy
    Roberto lives in a small village in the Tuscan countryside. He is known by all as “the Texan”. It is not hard to see why! Roberto is dressed every day as an American cowboy. Boots, hat, embroidered shirts, belt, he wear them every day. But hidden behind this aspect of sheriff there is a professor of philosophy, loved by all the students who met him.

    Roberto Lorenzini

  • Welson Alves de Olivera

    Welson Alves de Olivera

    Welson Alves de Olivera, 28 . Sao Paulo, Brazil
    Welson Alves de Oliveira, also known as Jack Welson, 28 years old. His nickname is the Black Scorpion. He grew up training under bridges and in forests, and now he is the middleweight champion of South America and the Spanish world.
    He’s a celebrity of his favela. Everybody in his area knows him and respect him!

    Welson Alves de Olivera

  • Rajesh Prakash

    Rajesh Prakash

    Rajesh Prakash, 32 – Delhi, India
    For some years in India has been made a law to prohibit the snake charmers. Now, it is almost impossible to see one, especially in public. The snake charmers are a caste and then, with this ban, the Indian government has taken work to a whole caste, which until a few years ago survived thanks to the performances in the street. Rajesh Prakash is one of the few snake charmers who refused to comply with this law and continues to do shows on the street. Everybody knows him in the parks of Delhi.

    Rajesh Prakash

  • Tu Fenghao

    Tu Fenghao

    Tu Fenghao, 20 – Beijing, China
    Tu Fenghao, 19 years old, with the black t-shirt and Sun Jie, 29 years old, with the green t-shirt. They are two teacher of the official chinese team of parkour. They were famous gymnasts, then they decided to open a school of parkour. They are celebrities for young kids in Beijing because they brought the gym culture in the street.

    Tu Fenghao

  • Megan Spurkland

    Megan Spurkland

    Megan Spurkland, 32 – Anchor Point. Alaska
    Megan in the only female captain of a fishing salmons boat in the whole Kenai peninsula in Alaska. It is a really hard job and 99.9% on the captains are men. This is why megan is a celebrity in her town!

    Megan Spurkland

  • Sandro Alviani

    Sandro Alviani

    Sandro Alviani, 63 – Puerto Viejo, Costarica
    Sandro is italian. He moved to Costarica 4 years ago. When he was in Italy he worked as director of a zoo. He wanted to retire in Costarica and stop working, but since he’s really expert of animals, the people of Puerto Viejo has started to bring him sick animals found on the street. So, now he has a sort of hospital for tropical animal and everybody calls him “San Francesco”.

    Sandro Alviani

  • Ratu

    Ratu

    Ratu, 23 – Lautoka, Fiji Islands
    Lautoka is a small village in Viti Levu, the biggest island of the Fiji. The most popular hobby for young guys of Latuoka is to play billiards at the “XXX Billards room”. Ratu is a celebrity there because in the past two years he’s always been the champion of the XXX Billards Room. Every year there are 3 pool big competitions in Nadi, the biggest city of Fiji, and Ratu has won the past 5!

    Ratu

  • Jean-Claude Fignole

    Jean-Claude Fignole

    Jean-Claude Fignole, 71 РJ̬r̬mie, Haiti
    Jean-Claude Fignole is an Haitian writer.
    He is one of the founders of the literary movement called spiralisme in collaboration with Frankétienne and René Philoctetes .
    In the 1980s, Jean-Claude Fignole provides essential support to the inhabitants of the small village of Apricots in Grand Anse , where it originated. Father of three children, Jean-Claude Fignole is now mayor of the town of Apricots since 2007. He assists people in development work of necessity (reforestation, education, health, road construction, agriculture) to curb the rural exodus role in Haiti.
    Spared by the earthquake of 12 January 2010, the village of apricots has the welcome thousands of survivors who fled the capital. Jean-Claude Fignole had to abandon his pen to devote himself entirely to this cause.

    Jean-Claude Fignole

  • Brigitte Rivera

    Brigitte Rivera

    Brigitte Rivera, 28 – Bocas del Rio, Mexico
    Brigitte Rivera is the most famous transsexual throughout Bocas Del Rio. In addition to working on the street, Brigitte, takes part in many parties in the nightclubs of the city. People also call her Britney because of her resemblance to Britney Spears. “I’ve done more than 20 estetic surgery to look like Britney,” says proudly Brigitte.

    Brigitte Rivera

  • Mariner Mitchel

    Mariner Mitchel

    Mariner Mitchell, 86 anni – American Fork, Utah
    Mariner is definitely on the most famous farmer in American Fork, a small town in the desert of Utah. He was the only one able to grow apples in that land. Everybody know him in town and everybody eats his apples!

    Mariner Mitchel

  • Yang Ming Kai

    Yang Ming Kai

    Yang Ming Kai, 24 – Shanghai, China
    Yang Ming Kai is a chinese champion of BMX. Here he’s inside a tube at the SMP park in Shanghai, the biggest skate and bmx park in the whole world. He’s the only one able to run the biggest ramp of the skate park and for this reason he’s a big celebrity in the Shanghai skaters community!

    Yang Ming Kai

  • Dave

    Dave

    Dave, 45 – Red Hook, Brooklyn – New York
    Dave is the owner of the “water front museum” in the old port of Brooklyn. The museum is actually an old boat. Dave lives there and works as clown. Everybody around Red Hook neighborhood knows him like The Water Clown!

    Dave