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Prado e Remoães

Who are we here?

Between the Village and the Spa of Peso, along the lowlands of the Minho river valley, Prado and Remoães constitute a set of places scattered along three routes: the oldest, probably of Roman origin, connects parish churches and the old chapel of St Amaro; the second is a modern road where, in the 19th century it was thought to build the railway from Monção to Melgaço; the third is a recent fast track. With many connecting points, the three are crossed by minor roads in the perpendicular direction of the river.

We are in the “ribeira”, the riverside where the architecture of a landscape made of fields and terraces, walls and paths is still clear, where irrigation water reached the smallest area where maize was grown and vineyards were arranged in steps on the edge of the plots. The Minho River runs indented between pebbles and fishing grounds and sometimes coios deposits, the pebbles of polished stones shaped by the current. There are still lampreys. On the steep banks and on the first plateau of red and stony earth are the wastelands, weeds and pastures for times long gone. Today there are hotels, riding centers, sports equipment and schools of higher education.

Because there were a lot more people than land during centuries of subsistence agriculture, immigration also occurred here, particularly to Brazil and, later to France and beyond. From the golden era of the thermal spas, there remained a few summer houses and also some others from occasional visitors. Judging by what is seen, after immigration and the disappearance of traditional agriculture, the planting of Alvarinho followed, more important to the landscape than the local economy. Not everything is what it seems. Locality is just the place where we find what we see or what we are told is there. If we extend the subject, the geography will be different, much more dilated. Visible and invisible spaces and boundaries will multiply, lives that intersect, surprises, things less permanent than before.

Almost everything is left unsaid in these brief words. The land is small but the people are varied.

Álvaro Domingues

In 2019 the project Who Are We Here? will focus on the parish of Prado, in the municipality of Melgaço, and its visibility will derive from:

  • Audiovisual record - Spoken Photography
  • An exhibition of documentary photography, opening at Casa da Cultura of Melgaço, during the MDOC – Melgaço Internacional Documentary Film Festival
  • A catalog about the exhibition of documentary photography
  • The collection and digitalization of photographs from family albums belonging to inhabitants of Prado
  • A photography exhibition from said family albums, opening at Prado ancient school
  • A publication on all undertaken work

Produced by the AO NORTE Association, this project will be coordinated by Álvaro Domingues, executive produced by Rui Ramos and the collaboration of Albertino Gonçalves, Carlos Eduardo Viana, Daniel Maciel, Miguel Arieira, Daniel Deira and João Gigante.