For more than 8 years, I kept returning to this magnetic place, just south of Lisbon.
In 2013, amid a huge financial and social crisis in Portugal, this territory seemed to echo what I was feeling and seeing in Portugal.
Costa da Caparica, a suburb to the south of Lisbon whose beaches are among the most visited by inhabitants of that city. It is also, however, a zone with pockets of social and urban precariousness, a place in which the leisure economy and urban regeneration policies have not been enough to eliminate social, architectural and environmental vulnerability.
The series comprises around 30 images depicting numerous features of this hybrid territory, including places, rudimentary constructions, objects and people. The sequence of images suggests a physical (but also mental and critical) journey made by the photographer through various locations along the Costa Caparica.
According to José Pedro Cortes, ‘the images speak of that strip that exists between the last stretch of civilization and the beach. Shacks, some belonging to fishermen, with little reason for existing; outmoded architecture, remains of houses, dirt left by the tide; an agglomeration of nondescript houses and streets – a peripheral, end-of-the- line location. A frontier zone, on the outskirts of a larger mass, disfigured by time and by the anarchic will of man.’
We are flooded by a strange luminosity; a dazzling and mysterious light which imbues these spaces with a disconcerting and unreal atmosphere, like something seen while in a hypnotic state, encouraging the spectator to participate in a suggestive and paradoxical exploration of individual experience.