BY EDU SILVA
This visual narrative isn’t another epic tale about the portuguese coastline and its heroic seamen. Those days are long gone as well as those seamen, whom are either dead or dying. Globalization and the European Union came, saw, and conquered it all. Fishing boats were dismantled and strict fishing quotas were imposed, while at the same time a massive multiplatform campaign promoting tourism in Portugal began to be implemented and disseminated, both on a nacional and international scale. And while tourism is now a booming sector in this country, labors such as fishing or sargassum harvesting are becoming dying arts. These new dynamics altered the fabric of the social landscape of the portuguese coastline, changing the morphology of this territory not only in the physical sense, but also gradually turned a once great nation of seamen into a fleet of waiters and nondescript caretakers willing to tend to the needs of the tourists (foreign and domestic alike).
The truth of the matter is that in this admirable and innocuous new world, there is no place for heroes and danger anymore. All that’s left are the old tales about the portuguese coastline, stories that still make us daydream about a place that once was the starting point to adventure.
Indeed, this is a difficult conjuncture to make a living off the sea. But there are still a few people who are bold enough to resist the tides of change and dare to fight for their right to live yet another day in this fabled place.
This visual essay is an ode dedicated to the last inhabitants of the late and once great portuguese coastline.