Cova da Moura, Portugal
It was not surprising to be seen with suspicion as I walked the streets of Cova da Moura. I was a stranger and although no one directly asked if I was a cop, clearly they wondered. Why was I so interested in the daily life there, if it were not to inform on them?
This little enclave of Cape Verde islanders on the outskirts of Lisbon has a strong sense of community. I think of streets as public spaces, but in Cova they are private domains. Each corner has a distinct personality. Certain crossroads are to be avoided.
(From Espelho Meu/Mirror Mirror: Portugal As Seen By Magnum Photographers, 2005)
As I wandered around, I felt the stare of eyes from apartments above, while others averted mine as I passed through narrow alleyways. It was days before a young man called out to take his picture. Though he had a camera cell phone that he was proud to show me, he clearly had never watched a Polaroid print develop in his own hands. The moment he recognized himself, I signed the picture and added his name. It was just a beginning, but I was no longer trespassing.
I came back a few months later and did a workshop with digital cameras that Canon gave me. I had this idea of bringing back the photographs into the landscape of the community, and also celebrating the photographs that they had made.
We did a celebration on the Fiesta de San Juan. Everybody celebrates it in different parts of this community, and they invited people from Lisbon to come and see their photographs in the neighborhood. This map was what we gave people who came to visit.