Um fotógrafo às terças

Mário Cruz é um jovem fotógrafo português. Nasceu em Lisboa em 1987. Filho de fotógrafo, recebeu a sua primeira máquina fotográfica aos 10 anos. Estudou fotografia no Cenjor. Mário Cruz é um grande fotógrafo português e um grande fotógrafo com menos de 30 anos (fez, este ano, parte da selecção promovida pela agência Magnum “30 Under 30”). Mas, acima de tudo, dispensa relativizações: é um imenso fotógrafo, independentemente da idade ou local onde nasceu.

Dele trago-vos hoje dois extraordinários trabalhos. Um sobre os que não são vistos (“Roof”), outro sobre os que não veem (“Recent Blindness”).

Olhemos para “Roof”. Teve início no começo de 2014 e tomou-lhe mais de um ano de trabalho. Retrata a vida dos que não “vivem”. Sobrevivem. “Roof” retrata a vida nas ilhas de degradação da grande Lisboa. A pobreza, a miséria paredes meias connosco. Tão perto e tão longe. Mário Cruz escolheu retratar esta realidade por ser incómoda e, como tal, escondida.

Mergulhar nesta realidade não foi simples. Exigiu paciência e perseverança. Caminhou pelas áreas “proibidas” da cintura de Lisboa, procurando sinais de presença humana. E, depois, o contacto com quem aí “habita”. Esse contacto implicou numerosas deambulações – frequentemente sem se fazer acompanhar da sua câmara – por essas zonas, de modo a estabelecer uma ligação com esse homens e mulheres e conseguir que, literal e metaforicamente, lhe abrissem as portas.

J. Gomes, aos 63 anos de idade, habita num quarto de um bairro votado ao abandono, usando uma escada feita à mão para entrar em sua “casa”. Vive da bondade de vizinhos que lhe vão oferendo conservas. Mário Cruz esperou, junto ao local onde ele vive, pelo Sr. Gomes – que estacionava carros num restaurante na vizinhança. Cinco dias de conversa, com rejeições pelo meio, e a confiança entre ambos acabaria por surgir. O acesso à “habitação” do Sr. Gomes foi outro desafio (que ele enfrenta diversas vezes ao dia, aos 63 anos). O acesso faz-se através de uma escada de 3 metros improvisada e periclitante que dá acesso a um cubículo em risco de colapso eminente. No meio de tudo isto, o que o Sr. Gomes diz é: “Não quero saber da lama ou da bicharada. Só não quero voltar a ter fome … aceito o meu destino se tiver que aqui ficar até ao fim dos meus dias”.

Outro homem, Pedro, vive numa fábrica abandonada onde vêm despejar lixo. Outros fazem uns “biscates” que lhes permitem sobreviver. Ou pedem. Ou ambas as coisas. Rebuscam restos de lixo. Recebem algum apoio de instituições de caridade ou contam com a bondade de vizinhos.

Mário Cruz reconhece: “O problema tem uma dimensão maior do que eu podia imaginar”. “Eles (os fotografados) dizem ‘As pessoas pensam que nos escondemos, ocupamos sítios que não nos pertencem, mas a única coisa que fazemos é sobreviver e sobrevivemos conseguindo um tecto’”.

“Recent Blindness”, retrata a vida no Centro de Reabilitação Nossa Senhora dos Anjos. O centro está localizado em Lisboa, acolhe cidadãos dos CPLP, e tem por missão dota-los da autonomia indispensável a terem uma vida com a normalidade possível. Para tal, os utentes do centro permanecem aí por um período de, tipicamente 3 a 6 meses, no qual vivem em comunidade, realizando actividades (leitura, cozinha, caminhadas) e contando com apoio psicológico. A maioria dos pacientes perdeu a visão de forma gradua, mas também existem casos de cegueira como resultado de acidentes e erros médicos. A vida oculta de quem se prepara para prosseguir a sua vida após a disrupção da cegueira.

Mário Cruz retrata realidades inconvenientes. Mas ao fazê-lo, fá-lo com uma enorme humanidade, sensibilidade e empatia. De uma forma terna, “inclusiva”.

Esta rubrica será interrompida durante o mês de Agosto. Guardei para esta despedida – melhor, este “até breve” – um imenso fotógrafo português. A quem vai gozar de um merecido descanso, desejo que este seja retemperador. A todos, “veraneantes” ou não, espero reencontrar-vos a partir de setembro nestas declarações semanais de amor à fotografia.

Todas as imagens publicadas fazem parte das obras “Roof” e “Recent Blindness”.

Website: Mário Cruz

March 11, 2014. Carlos and Joao share a meal inside an abandoned house they found in an old village which is now their home. They have lived there for over 3 years now without any income or support from the State. Every year, in the summertime, they leave their home for 3 months to pick fruit during the harvest season. They never know if they'll have their belongings or even their house when they return.
March 11, 2014. Carlos and Joao share a meal inside an abandoned house they found in an old village which is now their home. They have lived there for over 3 years now without any income or support from the State. Every year, in the summertime, they leave their home for 3 months to pick fruit during the harvest season. They never know if they’ll have their belongings or even their house when they return.
July 24, 2014. Paulo lives in one of four houses that still stand in a abandoned village in Lisbon. His house started to collapse one year ago. The City Hall doesn't intervene because the land and the property belongs to a private company. "I was born in this house and it seems that I will die with it."
July 24, 2014. Paulo lives in one of four houses that still stand in a abandoned village in Lisbon. His house started to collapse one year ago. The City Hall doesn’t intervene because the land and the property belongs to a private company. “I was born in this house and it seems that I will die with it.”
July 13, 2014. Marco covers his room's window with a piece of cardboard in a closed down factory in Lisbon.
July 13, 2014. Marco covers his room’s window with a piece of cardboard in a closed down factory in Lisbon.
July 13, 2014. M. Costa lays down inside his room in a closed down factory.
July 13, 2014. M. Costa lays down inside his room in a closed down factory.
July 17, 2014. Julio inside his room at a closed down factory in Lisbon.
July 17, 2014. Julio inside his room at a closed down factory in Lisbon.
July 13, 2014. Vitor, 65, sleeps in his bed inside an abandoned factory. Vitor was invited to live there by the other residents of the factory when they saw him sleeping on the street. He was physically weak due to the lack of food for several days.
July 13, 2014. Vitor, 65, sleeps in his bed inside an abandoned factory. Vitor was invited to live there by the other residents of the factory when they saw him sleeping on the street. He was physically weak due to the lack of food for several days.
March 9, 2014. An abandoned village in Lisbon.
March 9, 2014. An abandoned village in Lisbon.
April 26, 2014. J.Gomes, 63, inside his room in an old abandoned villa owned by city hall of Lisbon. He has the arduous task of climbing three meters in a handmade ladder whenever he wants to enter his "home". The walls and ceilings don't hide the past nor the abandonment. J. counts on his neighboors to give him canned food and toiletries. "I do not mind the mud and vermin I just don't want to be hungry again...I accept my destiny if I have to stay here until my last days". He worked all his life in the construction business, today he lives in a building deconstructed by indifference.
April 26, 2014. J.Gomes, 63, inside his room in an old abandoned villa owned by city hall of Lisbon. He has the arduous task of climbing three meters in a handmade ladder whenever he wants to enter his “home”. The walls and ceilings don’t hide the past nor the abandonment. J. counts on his neighboors to give him canned food and toiletries. “I do not mind the mud and vermin I just don’t want to be hungry again…I accept my destiny if I have to stay here until my last days”.
He worked all his life in the construction business, today he lives in a building deconstructed by indifference.
A patient waits for dinner at Nossa Senhora dos Anjos Rehabilitation Center in Lisbon, Portugal, July 16, 2013.  The center promotes social integration to people with recent blindness and low vision. Located in Lisbon, Portugal, the center welcomes people from the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, and gives back the autonomy they need to live. The patients live together for 3 months and their days are fully scheduled with physical and recreational activities and psychological support to improve their social independence. They also re-learn basic skills like reading, walking, cooking and taking care of their own image. The majority of the patients are people who lost their sight gradually but there are also cases of medical errors and accidents that caused blindness. Many patients claim to have stopped wanting to live and ended up isolated from society until they reached the center.
A patient waits for dinner at Nossa Senhora dos Anjos Rehabilitation Center in Lisbon, Portugal, July 16, 2013.
The center promotes social integration to people with recent blindness and low vision. Located in Lisbon, Portugal, the center welcomes people from the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, and gives back the autonomy they need to live. The patients live together for 3 months and their days are fully scheduled with physical and recreational activities and psychological support to improve their social independence. They also re-learn basic skills like reading, walking, cooking and taking care of their own image. The majority of the patients are people who lost their sight gradually but there are also cases of medical errors and accidents that caused blindness. Many patients claim to have stopped wanting to live and ended up isolated from society until they reached the center.
A keyboard adapted for low vision/blind individuals is used during a IT class at Nossa Senhora dos Anjos Rehabilitation Center, in Lisbon, Portugal, July 23, 2013. The center promotes social integration to people with recent blindness and low vision. Located in Lisbon, Portugal, the center welcomes people from the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, and gives back the autonomy they need to live. The patients live together for 3 to 6 months and their days are fully scheduled with physical and recreational activities and psychological support to improve their social independence. They also re-learn basic skills like reading, walking, cooking and taking care of their own image. The majority of the patients are people who lost their sight gradually but there are also cases of medical errors and accidents that caused blindness. Many patients claim to have stopped wanting to live and ended up isolated from society until they reached the center.
A keyboard adapted for low vision/blind individuals is used during a IT class at Nossa Senhora dos Anjos Rehabilitation Center, in Lisbon, Portugal, July 23, 2013.
The center promotes social integration to people with recent blindness and low vision. Located in Lisbon, Portugal, the center welcomes people from the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, and gives back the autonomy they need to live. The patients live together for 3 to 6 months and their days are fully scheduled with physical and recreational activities and psychological support to improve their social independence. They also re-learn basic skills like reading, walking, cooking and taking care of their own image. The majority of the patients are people who lost their sight gradually but there are also cases of medical errors and accidents that caused blindness. Many patients claim to have stopped wanting to live and ended up isolated from society until they reached the center.
Patients enjoy the sun together before the start of their day at Nossa Senhora dos Anjos Rehabilitation Center in Lisbon, Portugal, July 23, 2013.  The center promotes social integration to people with recent blindness and low vision. Located in Lisbon, Portugal, the center welcomes people from the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, and gives back the autonomy they need to live. The patients live together for 3 to 6 months and their days are fully scheduled with physical and recreational activities and psychological support to improve their social independence. They also re-learn basic skills like reading, walking, cooking and taking care of their own image. The majority of the patients are people who lost their sight gradually but there are also cases of medical errors and accidents that caused blindness. Many patients claim to have stopped wanting to live and ended up isolated from society until they reached the center.
Patients enjoy the sun together before the start of their day at Nossa Senhora dos Anjos Rehabilitation Center in Lisbon, Portugal, July 23, 2013.
The center promotes social integration to people with recent blindness and low vision. Located in Lisbon, Portugal, the center welcomes people from the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, and gives back the autonomy they need to live. The patients live together for 3 to 6 months and their days are fully scheduled with physical and recreational activities and psychological support to improve their social independence. They also re-learn basic skills like reading, walking, cooking and taking care of their own image. The majority of the patients are people who lost their sight gradually but there are also cases of medical errors and accidents that caused blindness. Many patients claim to have stopped wanting to live and ended up isolated from society until they reached the center.
Patients wait for the following class at Nossa Senhora dos Anjos Rehabilitation Center in Lisbon, Portugal, July 23, 2013. The center promotes social integration to people with recent blindness and low vision. Located in Lisbon, Portugal, the center welcomes people from the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, and gives back the autonomy they need to live. The patients live together for 3 to 6 months and their days are fully scheduled with physical and recreational activities and psychological support to improve their social independence. They also re-learn basic skills like reading, walking, cooking and taking care of their own image. The majority of the patients are people who lost their sight gradually but there are also cases of medical errors and accidents that caused blindness. Many patients claim to have stopped wanting to live and ended up isolated from society until they reached the center.
Patients wait for the following class at Nossa Senhora dos Anjos Rehabilitation Center in Lisbon, Portugal, July 23, 2013.
The center promotes social integration to people with recent blindness and low vision. Located in Lisbon, Portugal, the center welcomes people from the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, and gives back the autonomy they need to live. The patients live together for 3 to 6 months and their days are fully scheduled with physical and recreational activities and psychological support to improve their social independence. They also re-learn basic skills like reading, walking, cooking and taking care of their own image. The majority of the patients are people who lost their sight gradually but there are also cases of medical errors and accidents that caused blindness. Many patients claim to have stopped wanting to live and ended up isolated from society until they reached the center.

Todas as imagens de Mário Cruz


Esta rubrica não é um guia dos notáveis da fotografia. Menos ainda, um espaço de “crítica” fotográfica (para a qual não estou qualificado nem tenho vocação). É um espaço que não aspira à neutralidade, reflectindo antes um gosto pessoal. Falarei dos fotógrafos cuja obra me toca, desafia e me faz reagir – não apenas visualmente, mas visceralmente. Precisamente por não ser um espaço de crítica, não haverá lugar para fotógrafos cujo trabalho não seja do meu agrado.

João Jarego


Os fotógrafos desta rubrica, estão disponíveis, após a sua publicação, em: Um fotógrafo às terças, com acesso ao arquivo por data de publicação e nome de autor.

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