Mar 13, 2013

Lisbon Stories (15)

After months gathering stories and taking photographs at the working-class neighborhood of Dafundo – this small area of the Lisbon Coast being doomed, its once well-attended beach now conveniently classified as ‘sandy area’ and reserved for a marina – I proposed to Euclides, who runs the 'Café Africano' with his father, to hang on the tavern’s walls pictures of the place and the people who frequent it. We’ll have a vernissage – a posh thing, as you can imagine – and wine will be served to whoever crosses the door.

This ‘permanent exhibit’ wouldn’t be complete without a picture of Mr. Sequeira: he is part of the furniture at Café Africano. Always ready for a domino game, he talks very little, maybe not to ruin his shy, everlasting smile. Now that I think of it, I don’t remember having heard his voice before today. Mr. Sequeira loves football, so I took a picture of him caressing a table football dummy painted with the colors of his team of choice. He was clearly amused.

I took three or four shots and told Mr. Sequeira they looked pretty good on the lcd screen. I said I would leave a print for him with Euclides. He gave a start and looked straight at me with tiny, inscrutable eyes. Then he asked, the voice trembling a bit,

‘Do I have to pay anything…?’

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