Photographs by Luís Ramos
REMEMBER is a project that, after a certain time, began to overtake the author’s own wishes and decided to follow its own path. What was initially intended to be a thematic approach to the art of the portrait, in the context of street photography, ended up becoming a documentary project. Sometimes, the various categories into which we tend to catalogue a work of art are not hermetically sealed and become complicit with one another, giving rise, during the production process, to a result that goes far beyond what might initially have been expected.
In this case, it was this evolution that later dictated the way in which the work would be presented, as if it were a panel, taking on two kinds of readings. The considerable volume of the group of works, which when observed from a distance form a single whole, a piece that is rooted in the constancy of its framing and the monochromatic characteristics of each image, takes on another dimension as we draw closer to it, revealing the powerful individuality of each portrait.
These portraits are not staged, but the presence of the photographer and their complicity with him is easily understood through their physical proximity. These pictures were taken throughout the year 2013 with people who were demonstrating in the streets of Lisbon against the austerity policies implemented by the government of that time, in keeping with the directives imposed by the so-called “Troika”. The different characters appear without any evident context and practically stripped of any social references, so that we can easily focus only what is essential, their faces, which reveal their intimate thoughts, their sadness, their despondency, and the abandonment and betrayal of which they feel themselves to be defenceless victims.
These images of anonymous citizens, in which an attempt has been made to highlight their singularity as representatives of a cross section of the community, displayed an enormous hardness that extrapolated the individual and which might, in reality, embody a certain moment in the life of a large part of our society and country.
Above all, this is a project about people who must never be forgotten. We are all, ourselves, these people… REMEMBER!