A SHORT LISBON STORY
On my travels I usually try to find some local “delicacies” such as books (especially photography books), vinyl, traditional food and similar. I scan every flea market, bookshop or vintage shop I can find, I wander through alley after alley - one eye for good photo opportunities & the other eye for the things mentioned above.
In Lisbon I tried to find an old street photography book about Portugal, ideally shot by a Portuguese photographer. I think that’s one of the great ways to learn more about the country you’re visiting, things that no tourist guide could possibly tell you. Another great way is contacting e.g. local CouchSurfers, but I’ll get to that in another post…
IMAGE ABOVE: © Eduardo Gageiro, ca. 1950s, Fábrica de Sacavém, Portugal
Gageiro became interested in photography at a very early age whilst working at the Fábrica (de Loiça) de Sacavém (find more beautiful pictures of this factory here).
He began in photojournalism working for Vida Ribatejana, before going on to join O Século (a Portuguese daily newspaper) in 1957. He produced several photobooks, often in collaboration with important Portuguese writers. (+)
© Eduardo Gageiro, 1966, Feira de Ladra, Lisbon
FEIRA DE LADRA
First I tried my luck at the biggest flea market in Lisbon, Feira de Ladra. Me and my lady also stumbled across this other flea market in a small park, Jardim do Principe Real. What I found there (amongst other beautiful things) was this fantastic book by German photographer Bettina Secker called “August - Ein Leben auf dem Lande" (more about that book here and here).
Not quite what I was looking for, but sometimes you just have to take what comes your way, right :) and I tell you: this book is wonderful, nearly as gorgeous as the dress my lady bought there! A stunning piece of cloth that makes her look like an African princess, I love it!
Ok, long story short: I couldn’t find the desired book anywhere in town.
Near Jardim do Principe Real I talked to a very friendly guy who was working at his mother’s “livraria” (= bookshop, located in Rua Dom Pedro V). He was the first to ever introduce me to Portuguese photographer Eduardo Gageiro.
© Eduardo Gageiro, 1968, “Igreja de Moscavide”
Too bad that Gageiro’s books were sold out (just like all the other Portuguese photography books), but they had a great collection of amazing books by Elliott Erwitt, David Goldblatt, Edward J. Steichen, Man Ray, Sebastião Salgado and so many more - but most of them would have been much to big and heavy to carry back home in my rucksack. Salgado’s “Africa” for example weighs more than 7 pounds… damn rationality.
As this guy was so friendly and took his time (he also called his mother twice to get more information for me) I felt I just have to buy at least one book there (ok, I also wanted to have one, it wasn’t pure selflessness):
"Muito Sol" by Mexican photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo. Light-weighted, but full of “heavy” b&w classics. My back and my eyes said "thanks"…
I’m losing the thread again. OK: the guy (I forgot his name, sorry for that) told me I should check the bookshop in the Gulbenkian museum which I did - this is were I finally found the desired book on my last day in Portugal, but that’s another story… Before I forget: the guy’s mother is also a photographer. You can find her work on her blog and on Flickr.
If you plan to visit this bookshop: in the back there’s a cosy café with a peaceful, quiet garden, a perfect place to relax after walking through the exciting streets of Lisbon. The self-made lemonades are really refreshing, you have to try them! You can also climb on a wooden high seat to see the city from above, or just sit in the grass and watch blackbirds catch some worms. I’m sure you’d like it there!
» read all of my Portugal stories here «