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The people relationship always caught my interest, especially as a street-life photographer.

I spent lots of time walking through the city of Lisbon looking for the right subjects, the perfect moments to get “THE PICTURE”, then, I realized to have collected a pretty singular upstream pictures of lonely people who right away gave me the idea to represent a unique feature which characterize Portugal. That melancholic longing feeling on what Lisbon is famous for, the “Saudade”.

It is not a coincidence the use of B/W in high contrast, being able to create a deep view to the reader, emphasizing the atmosphere, the drama and favour the empathy feelings that bring you in their shoes.

The "Saudade" it is a recurrent word on many of the poetries, songs and aspects of the Portuguese Life, especially during the 13th century. The origins seems dated back to the Time of Great Portuguese Discoveries, this because this term was linked with the feeling felt by people who saw the departure of their love ones to the sea, without no certainties to meet them again. This left a great lack inside and a constant feeling of absence, sadness, a persistent melancholic state that described the Portuguese psyche.

So far no words have been found to describe into another language the significance of such "state". The closest english word is “Missingness”, however even today is not completely accepted. This subconscious longing for something that can never be, with its heartfelt melancholy for something long past with a hunting, subtle sadness is the best description found about the "Saudade". The lack of something very important, which search will be always pursued but never reached. 

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Copyright © 2020 | Alex Righetti | Nature Conservation & Documentary photography