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Fotografia: Jose Ferreira
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A few miles away from Lisbon’s city center, where tourism is rising faster than ever
(and bringing cultural identity issues along with it), 6 de Maio Neighborhood is dying
out. The countdown has begun for it to become nothing but a memory, in just a few months.
With a community comprised of Cape Verdeans who decided to take a chance at life
in Portugal after the Ultramar, between the late 70’s and early 80’s, the
neighborhood’s current state is that of a warzone - from the building’s degradation
(which served as temporary housing for over 30 years) to the demolition grounds in
permanent need of cleaning, in hopes of creating a more integrated and united Portugal, which is more and more European by the day.
While progress continues, some survive the best way they can and the only way they
know. Hard drug trafficking, prostitution and gun selling is overlooked by the
authorities. There isn’t much that they can do other than looking away or performing the occasional cosmetic raid.
And still there, are families. Families fighting with their last breath for the right to live
there, when everything and everyone tells them to stop and to adjust. They remain in
their houses with their walls made of memories from a happier time, and also hope, which many still hold.
6 de Maio Neighborhood isn’t only crime and wrecked buildings. But, it also is. An
identity and a reality usually seen as unconventional or outcast from society,
captured for a year and now revealed - in these images.