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I am attached to Portugal because my mother emigrated with her family from this country in 1970 to move to France. Many other people did the same during the sixties and the seventies. At the time, the main former colonial powers already lost most of their territories but Portugal was still involved in a colonial war. Portuguese people wanted to escape poverty, Salazar’s dictatorship and conscription. On the other hand, French employers needed migrants to keep a low paid labour force, in addition Portuguese people had the reputation to work hard and to be easy to assimilate (compared to North African migrants). During my two last stays in 2011 and 2015, I mostly photographed Felgar, my mother's native village.

Felgar, Bragança, Portugal, August 2011


This is Felgar. Like many villages of Northern Portugal, emigration was strong. The population was divided by two in fifty years, many houses are abandoned.

Felgar, Bragança, Portugal, September 2015

At the counter

During summer vacations, many emigrants come back to the village, but after September only retired people and permanent residents remain.

Felgar, Bragança, Portugal, September 2015

Sunday Mass

My grand parents live in Portugal only during summer and this is the only time that my grand mother assist at mass or watch mass on TV.

Felgar, Bragança, Portugal, September 2015

My mother’s room

This is not the room she had during her childhood. This is an emigrant’s house for vacation. The emigrants often built more comfortable houses with the money earned in France.

Felgar, Bragança, Portugal, September 2015

Olive orchard

The big olive orchards still last, but the modest orchard of my grand father was abandoned.

Porto, Portugal, September 2015


Benfica against FK Astana.

Porto, Portugal, September 2015

Bolhao Market

A dilapidated market, that stay only with the help of props. Many stalls have lost their soul, old and sad ladies try to sell junk to the tourists. Despite this, some children play ball.

Porto, Portugal, September 2015


In Portugal we can see students with black cloaks being a part of praxe rites, the student traditions. Here is a ceremony related to the start of the school year. The praxe seems to instil respect for the social order in the future adults. During the first year, students experience the violence that they will inflict later to others. Besides, violence is not only moral, one time six students died by drowning during an end-of-year party.

Guarda, Portugal, August 2011

Castro de Tintinolho

On the mountain we can see the ruins of the Castro de Tintinolho. Built by the Celts during the Iron Age, this hillfort overlook the Mondego valley.