Following the worldwide trend of sharing portrays and stories of humans from all corners of the world, inspired by the work started by Brandon Stanton in 2010 with Humans of New York (HONY), Portugal also has a share of its people from several cities around the country represented on different collections on Facebook.
For three years in a row, this country of roughly 10.5 million people (according to data from 2012) has seen its population decrease. In 2012 not only were there more deaths than births, but also the number of people emigrating reached a peak [pt] unseen since the 1960s. Estimates from 2010 point to nearly 5 million Portuguese people who live outside the country.
Meet some of the faces of those humans who have either stayed or happen to be passing by in Portugal.
“Revolution doesn’t happen when society adopts new technology, it happens when society adopts new behaviours”. The quote, from Clay Shirky, is mentioned by the Bastart magazine in an interview with João Sá Leão who created the Facebook page of Humans of Lisbon in May 2012. João describes the scenario that inspired him to start mapping the stories of Lisbon:
One of the most human stories shared in the page of Humans of Lisbon (which already has 3,187 ‘likes’) is the one of Maria Isabel, a woman whom the photographer meets everyday on the way to and from work. Sometimes they talk a little bit when João stops his car at traffic lights:
Just imagine. One day, we might have a brand new world map. When clicked on any city, we would see its people: the ones that live there as well as those that are just passing by. A totally different way of ‘surfing’ a city…
… after many meetings in the traffic lights, she no longer speaks of charity or church but about the government, the weather, asks for my children, complaining that a tooth it´s hurting her… etc … until the light turned green and someone honk, and I have to leave … but tomorrow we meet again.
Today I finally parked the car and offer her breakfast and a little conversation, with no rush.
She remembers the name of my children as often greets from my car window … although sometimes she switch them … in the end I got to know her name and she mine.
Still had time to talk about the crisis and the political … “even the New York Times speaks against Portugal …”, “…This crisis doesn´t help… people offer less or nothing, but some days are better then others…”, she said.
Some days the sun is so hot but she still stays there waiting for some charity…. but from my car I see others closing their windows as she approaches, as if she would harm them…. sad to reach this age and people still close-in the “door”!
If you see her…. do not close your window….. just be nice!
Created on November 1, 2013, the Facebook page of Humans of Porto has already gathered 1,916 ‘likes’. The first photo, taken on the streets of the second main city of Portugal, features “a very special lady at Ribeira” who “sells chestnuts, popcorn, lupin beans and olives… whatever is needed, when it's needed”.
The page of Humans of Porto is managed by an all-women team – a videographer, a journalist and a photographer – who say their mission is:
to capture the very essence of Porto and the souls that compose the kaleidoscope of this amazing place.
They always try to capture life stories behind the portrays such as Sérgio's, who introduced himself:
I am self-educated. My father wanted me to go study arts but I never wanted that. I decided to learn on my own and on the streets because here you can learn something everyday and with every person you meet.
There are pictures too of Humans of Azores, one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal, composed of nine volcanic islands situated in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Humans of Coimbra has many photos showcasing student life and academic traditions in the city, and Humans of Setúbal has pictures of people around town too, but both share their photos without any stories. The same goes for Humans of Almada which has mostly shared landscape pictures. Humans of Cascais was created last October but has only shared one photo until now.
Do you know of any other “Humans of…” projects in Portugal? Let us know in the comments section below!