Who Are We Here on the plateau

The 20th century came to fire up the Portuguese into the eye of the ultramodern storm, either by the ferocious mobility of immigration movements, or the dismantling and ideological and technological restructuring that contaminated everything. In view of this movement, Castro Laboreiro rises proudly from an altitude that surveys the rest of the world. It definitely did not stop in time. Castrejo men and women have turned this leap into a project. The men followed the lines of emigration without hesitation, as it is said that castrejos always went abroad to work; the women held on to the investments and local knowledge, as it is also said that castrejas have always known how to do it properly. The photographic collection displayed in the exhibition Who Are We Here on the plateau embraces, inspired by the castrejo versatility, this multiplicity of signs and meanings. It is built from the proposals that a group of castrejos selected from among the many photographs they keep in their domestic albums, chosen with the aim of bringing out the richness and aesthetic depth of castrejo lives closer to the exhibition space. It is also a special collection, as it was built under unusual conditions of uncertainty and distance brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. The limitations to close contact, regular interaction, and circulation among large groups of people, have drawn a path marked by restrictions and distances. The birth of this exhibition also underlines, therefore, an insistence on moving forward in the face of apprehension and continuing to live within what is possible and what is feasible. Castro Laboreiro is a land of historical depth, with a strong character and solid ground. It is also a world lived in the present, refusing to renounce its inheritance, standing side by side with the accelerated ride of our times. The realization of an exhibition of old photographs, in an autobiographical narrative, notwithstanding the pandemic obstacles along the way, is just another footnote of the present in the contemporary castrejo framework. The exhibition is organized through close collaboration between MDOC – Melgaço International Documentary Film Festival, the Union of Parishes of Castro Laboreiro and Lamas de Mouro and the Municipality of Melgaço. It will be inaugurated on August 4, 2022, at the Civic Centre of Castro Laboreiro, where it will remain until October 17, 2022.

Daniel Maciel

  • Date: 4th August / 16th October 2022
  • Local: Centro Cívico de Castro Laboreiro