Writings

Streets of Lisbon unearths the traces of the commercial route that sealed the West African coast, Brazil and Europe in an economic and cultural continuum as a result of the Portuguese profitable trade in slaves and gold. This piece delves in particular on the strident relationship between a glorified past (symbolized by the statues of Henrique the Navigator and his captain Gil Eanes, who sailed from the port of Lagos to return with treasures to be sold at the first slave market in Europe) and a far less opulent present, in which immigration from the Portuguese former colonies is matched by new waves of emigration. Yet, the old soul of Lisbon, evoked by wrinkled faces and the melancholic melodies of traditional Fado songs, seems to resist to the pressure of historical up or downturns, as people find strength in their close-knit families and communities, everyday rituals, traditional festivities and religious practices.

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