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e em cada rua deserta

ainda resiste

 

(and in every deserted street

still resists)

"I took this picture at the end of 2020 when I moved from Penha de Franca, a traditional district, to Arroios, a multicultural neighborhood. I used to pass by this street, Rua de Arroios, many times without noticing the natural gas box standing silently outside a building. Then, one day, a yellow “Fracking Não!” sticker caught my attention.

 

“There it is! This is so Lisbon to me!” - I took the picture. 

 

My camera is full of these traces of living conversations, of small memories and resistances. From the wall tile that tells the story of an old woman in Penha de Franca refusing to be displaced by gentrification to the antifascism graffiti in Arroios.

It has been almost two years since I first set foot in this city and when I close my eyes I no longer see the postcard cityscape from the ‘miradouro’. The Lisbon in me now is the city below, the lively streets and the empty buildings. 

 

A change in situation often opens the eyes. Just as the gas became visible with my new home, so did the people of Lisbon in the time of Covid-19, as Manuel Alegre’s poem, ‘Lisboa Ainda’ (Still Lisbon), perfectly depicted."

 

- Minh Thu

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