Her arms speak of family and home and pride

Her face tells of laughter and sorrow and time

She is a fountain. She is light

In the historic, sleepy district of Mouraria, where the typically cobbled Portuguese streets are ever so slightly narrower, an artist Camilla Watson installed photographs of some of the eldest residents along the walls, close to their homes. The photographs are a triumphant tribute – sensitive and thoughtful. Out of them jump the personalities of Mouraria’s eldest. Some retreating and shy, others calm and fearless, others yet playful. The more you look, the more they reveal.

A street in Mouraria

Portrait of a gentleman in Mouraria, Lisbon

 

A tribute to the elderly by the artist

In a world as explained to me by Paula, my friend and Lisbonite, where some of the elderly are left alone by families who move away, and the cost of nursing care is exorbitant, and where they only survive because of the exceptionally low fixed rents, this project serves to preserve their dignity and spirit.

Apart from museum installations and exhibits, it’s rare to find older ordinary folk given the limelight in works of art. I hope that these pieces will leave the legacy they intended to create and that they will be preserved and treasured by the community and tourists alike.

I’ve seen and witnessed much in the past two months and some travelling around Europe, of it all, these photographs are one of my most special experiences.

Thank you for sharing this with me, Paula.

This slide show is set to a fado track, a decidedly more upbeat number sang by the beauteous, gracious rising star Cuca Roseta whom I had the absolute privilege of watching perform at the Teatro Tivoli last night. She has a bright future ahead of her and I can confirm, is possibly better looking in real life, if that is possible.

Fado, means destiny or fate and the music is characterised by songs of loss or mourning, regret and sorrow. But, as you can hear in this upbeat song, this isn’t always the case.

* You can read more about the history of fado and Mouraria here*

Watch here: http://slides.ly/Pwwyvs or click below

I can get immersed in the image in this slide show and while doing do, I thought a nice slice of cheddar and parsley bread with salted butter would be the ideal accompaniment. I have made a few beer breads as posted on this blog, as you may remember: Onion and Anchovy Beer Bread and Lemon and Thyme Beer Bread.

It’s really simple and quick. Try it!

Ingredients

3 cups white bread flour, sifted
1 T baking powder
50 ml sugar
340 ml beer
1/2 cup (125 ml) melted butter or oil
1 cup cheese (250 ml) (1/2 mature cheddar, 1/2 Parmigiano Reggiano)
4 T finely chopped parsley

Method

Preheat oven 190 ˚C and grease a standard banking tin.
Mix all ingredients together until properly combined. No need to over-mix or beat.
Pour batter into the tin.
Bake for 1 hour – until skewer inserted into centre comes out clean.
 Inline images 1

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