Joao Pina

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Location: Paris, France
Nationality: Portuguese
Biography: João Pina is a freelance photographer born in Portugal in 1980. He began working as a professional photographer at age eighteen, and graduated from the International Center of Photography’s Photojournalism and Documentary Photography... MORE
Public Story
Por teu livre pensamento
Copyright Joao Pina 2023
Date of Work Dec 1969 - Dec 1969
Updated Sep 2018
Location Portugal
Topics Black and White, Documentary, Historical memory, human rights, Photography, Photojournalism, Political prisoners, Portraiture, Portugal
This project to me is much more then photography, it’s about my own heritage.

It is about me, even if it happened many years before I was born. It is about a very restrict group of people that were arrested, tortured and sentenced for many years in jail because of thinking differently then a fascist regime that ruled Portugal for almost 50 years.

What made a big difference to me is that both my grandparents were part of this small group. My grandmother Albertina Diogo and my grandfather Guilherme da Costa Carvalho (who died in 1973) were members of the Portuguese communist party and fought with their ideals against a regime that lasted for 48 years in Portugal making it the longest dictatorial regime of western Europe in the XX century.

In a way, the story is not new and not exclusive o fascist regimes, but to me being born with this heritage and seeing all my generation not being informed of what happened just a few years before we were born, created on me a unconformable feeling, and felt it was my task to recover their memory, otherwise they would die (as some already did) and their stories would die with them, so I paired up with Rui Daniel Galiza, a young Portuguese writer to interview and record these people’s stories.

What is shown with these pictures is small example of what thousands of people suffered in Portugal, and unfortunately still do in other countries, with other regimes all ending by some short of “ist”.

In a way, this is my homage to the ones who still fight for what they believe in, not really caring if they have a high price to pay for saying what they think.
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