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Poor Parts of Porto

Poor Parts of Porto
Photo Information
Copyright: Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9534 W: 511 N: 18548] (82252)
Genre: People
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 1984-08
Categories: Daily Life
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2018-02-16 1:04
Viewed: 1035
Points: 76
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Somewhere in Porto in August 1984. I was quite used to seeing poor neighbourhoods after travelling widely through Asia and Africa, but some urban districts in Porto were among the least fortunate areas I had seen in Europe. Ten years after the Fascist government had been overthrown and the colonial wars in Africa stopped, Portugal still had a long way to go to reach an economic level reasonably equal to the rest of western Europe.

I don't remember taking this photo, but I suppose I wanted to include the slogan on the wall, meaning approximately "The cost of living increases, people cannot stand it, long live 1st of May". Thank you Ana (adores) for clarifying the confusing Google translation.

Here is a larger version.

Two more snapshots from the streets of Porto can be seen in the workshop. All photos were scanned from Kodachrome slides.

Workshop #1

Workshop #2

ikeharel, macjake, snunney, Royaldevon, papagolf21, alvaraalto, ChrisJ, jhm, cornejo, Fis2, dale54, Lidka, danos, sacimar, Cricri, tyro, CLODO, COSTANTINO, worldcitizen, lucasgalodoido, mcmtanyel, jadir, pierrefonds has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To GyurMaster: Györgyholmertz 1 2018-02-16 10:49
To rychem: laundryholmertz 1 2018-02-17 09:35
To kasianowak: Thank you Kasiaholmertz 1 2018-02-17 01:17
To emka: africaholmertz 1 2018-02-17 01:22
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Critiques [Translate]

"Viva May 1st" says the graffiti, Gert, and rightly poor people hope with communism go along with saying cost of living is too hard (my Google translate was not accurate as well, so reading your note, clarified).
All three photos from the past, show Porto as tourists never get to see, usually. My impression from our visit in 10/2010 was of a vibrant old city that gets a "face-lift" everywhere.
Well scanned all 3 posts.
have va nice friday,

Hello Gert,

Three more very informative, journalistic photographs.
You have clearly illustrated a country deep in despair and it is possible to see many comparisons with the deprived areas of Africa and Asia.
They also reveal just how much Portugal has developed, to the modern day, in a relatively short period of time.
Street markets are still common but the setting of the dilapidated buildings, the untidy streets and the general disrepair are very noticeable.
You were instinctively alert to the slogan which unites the three photographs in a common message.

Thank you for these,
Bev :-)

Hi Gert
ahhh...THAT's where I left my pants! finally!

the WS photos could easily be main posts as well, i appreciate them alot. its interesting to see the construction site like that. here, the main focus for me are the brown baskets, its funny how much of a strong visual statement they make.

but yes, the words on the wall, and the activity are important too,

Nice to see how Portugal has improved it self over time

Hello Gert,
I think you would find that Porto has also become somewhat gentrified but there are still parts where the buildings are crumbling and there is evidence of (relative) poverty. The main picture has a story to tell warts and all. Well framed to include the washing and with 'old fashioned' colours, which heighten the sense of nostalgia.

Bonjour, cher ami Gert,
Vous devriez organiser une rétrospective photographique de vos pérégrinations tant les images sont d'une riche qualité à tous les niveaux.
Celle-ci ne fait pas exception.
Il y a une vérité prenante à travers cette composition.

Ciao Gert, nice daily life scene with poor people, fine details, excellent clarity, wonderful colors and splendid light, very well done, my friend, have a good weekend ciao Silvio

Hello Gert
Three fascinating picture from Porto in 1984. This picture makes curious. How should it look like when you could take pictures from the same POV today. The fruit in a proper market stall? The slogan on the wall replaced by a colourful mural? and the laundry ?
Maybe there will be a TE-member in this neighbourhood shortly
Excellent work. Have a good weekend, groet Rob

Well, the old part of the city looks kind of poor and abandoned nowadays too. I like your simple street scene, well taken.


  • Great 
  • Tue Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10894 W: 57 N: 18836] (70460)
  • [2018-02-16 8:03]

Hello Gert,
A great daily life street scene, which is very cleverly composed with the street vendors in the foreground and their fruit and vegetables on offer and the old wall with the slogan behind them. The laundry in the uppermost part of the photo is an excellent detail as well. The colours are well-saturated. Great work.

  • Great 
  • ChrisJ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 15527 W: 1055 N: 32393] (150784)
  • [2018-02-16 8:17]

Hello Gert,

I basically got the gist of the text but for the wrong reasons. 'Argent' is French for money (silver) and I mistook 'aguenta for 'argent'. The cost of living has always been rising. If it rises too fast for the working classes and the poor and disadvantaged then we end up with a French Revolution style of revolt. If contemporary, greedy multi-national corporations do not wake up soon, there may well be another revolution. Thousands of Portuguese have emigrated to Mozambique where the economy is much better. Anyway the market scene depicted here with impromptu stalls made from wooden fruit crates makes for an interesting photo from the 80's. Tfs!

Dobar dan.
Lep pogled, dobar tekst ...
Dobar rad sa lepim fotografijama u radionici, lepo pokazano mesto i trenutak. Lepe fotografije i secanje na 1984. Dobar rad skeniranjem slajda.
Zelim vam lepo popodne, sve najbolje za vikend, srecno.

Good day.
Nice view, good text ...
Good work with nice photos in the workshop, a nice place and a moment. Nice photos and recollection for 1984. Good work by scanning slides.
I wish you a good afternoon, all the best for the weekend, happy.

Dear Gert,

Nothing special of course, but this photo has a lot to tell about that era. The pealed, dirty wall, the broken and frame-less window, the sketchy stalls. That writing on the wall is just the cherry on the ice.

Best Wishes,

Hello Gert, very good picture of this interesting scene of daily life in Porto, very well captured in this interesting image, with good sharpness, light, color and quality. A great job perfectly done, my congratulations, my friend. Thanks for sharing this interesting work.

Good night and happy weekend.
All the best from the south of Spain.

Hello dear Gert,
Very nice capture of this typical Mediterranean scenery !
Taken with perfect pov and sharpness.
Nice the laundry in wind above the heads of those two women.
Of course the text on the Wall is amazing :-)
TFS and have a nice weekend

  • Great 
  • Fis2 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11388 W: 163 N: 19106] (140915)
  • [2018-02-16 11:30]

Witaj Gert!
Excellent work.
Interesting scaene from street.
Good frame, colors and light.
I like this daily life picture.
Have a good weekend.

  • Great 
  • dale54 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1002 W: 0 N: 2093] (15652)
  • [2018-02-16 13:33]

gert good evening to what you captured here,with this make shift fruit stands..working away! excellent job! tfs dale

  • Great 
  • Lidka Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 398 W: 108 N: 906] (527)
  • [2018-02-16 14:36]

Dear Gert!
Fine scene. Superb place.
Wonderful people and market, shopping.
Nice brightness and colours.
Good POV, exposure and capture.
Very fine sharpness.
Original image.
Well done!

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13313 W: 125 N: 23838] (119799)
  • [2018-02-16 14:53]

Hi Gert,in effect it's very curious to see the woman in the WS,me too i never seen nothing like that. And the main pic too is excellent like the alley in the other WS,this time too it seems to be in a city of southern Italy. Have a nice weekend and thanks,Luciano

Ciao Gert
se per noi sono passati 33 anni, per queste persone è come se ne fossero passati 50, la vita era molto diversa e per raggiungere i risultati odierni c'è stato bisogno di tanto lavoro e tanti cambiamenti, ma oggi il Portogallo è sicuramente una nazione allo stesso livello delle altre.
Eccellente condivisione, i tuoi post sono una garanzia.
Buon we

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 26033 W: 522 N: 44528] (189937)
  • [2018-02-17 0:41]

Hello Gert,

Your two-additional picture speak real book parts.
Your main picture is not to see, the poor people, they have food.
Sharpness and clarity be perfect.
A very well composition also nice presentation.
Very well done, TFS.

Have a nice weekend,

  • Great 
  • Nicou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 15362 W: 0 N: 16877] (186776)
  • [2018-02-17 1:47]


Superbe scène et vue avec le stand de ventes de fruits et ce personnages et quel mur avec l'inscription et ce linge qui pend quelle originalité et le couleurs sur les étales sueprbe.
Bravo et amitié

  • Great 
  • danos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13701 W: 295 N: 27478] (110395)
  • [2018-02-17 1:50]

Hello Gert,
a good daily life of the town of Porto during '80's with the women to sell their products in the open air market of this neighbourhood of it.A good reportage shot from the streets of Porto with the slogan on the wall to complete perfect teh whole scenery.


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  • jmdias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11219 W: 174 N: 20535] (90568)
  • [2018-02-17 4:50]


a very nice view of the daily life in that age, communist phrases were very usual in those times in any wall. nice view of the ruined façade. a real portrait of those hard times.

take care


Hello Gert,

this is another good image of Porto, I like the scene with the fruit sellers, the composition has different interesting elements that make it very attractive, well done,

Best regards,


Laundry, laundry, laundry, you have chosen three photos where the laundry is the most important element. All three scenes are very nice, my compliments

Hi Gert
Belle scène de vie, les cènes sont belles, naturels, bon format qui inclus le petit linge séchant sur le fil, l'inscription sur le mur, plus incroyable a voir est la dame portant les cartons sur sa tête !!! en WS 2
Bonne soirée

Hi Gert
Great documentary work, as always. The writing on the wall, the stalls made of wooden crates and the washing, all those elements speak of relative poverty. The photo in the workshop showing the woman with a box on her head looks as if it were taken in Africa.
Two thoughts and comparisons immediately come to mind:
1. I visited Porto 24 years later. How much Portugal had changed since it joined the much hated European Union.
2. I can't remember scenes like this from Poland in the 80s (but I do from Romania and the USSR).
Have a nice Sunday

  • Great 
  • emka Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11549 W: 123 N: 29379] (138524)
  • [2018-02-17 12:47]
  • [+]

Hello Gert, Nice three oldies from Porto. I wonder what they were building in the WS? I tried to find the view from other WS in Google map. Baixo street is close to Ribeira but it is too narrow to be shown. Strange to see the woman with the heavy burden on the head. Maybe now when there are more Africans one can see it more often. I was in 2006 and I had the same impression from Porto . One can probably still find similar views. But the main picture is the best thanks to this sign. This makes it very interesting.
I wonder what would be your impressions if you visited Poland in 1984. It was very difficult time. The average month salary was less than 30 USD. But the main problem was that it was difficult to buy anything. We had coupons for most things: milk, meat, sugar, butter, rice, shoes, gas, flour, soup, washing powder, even toilet paper. But even with the coupons there were very long queues. I suppose it was worse situation than in Portugal.

Kind regrad s Malgo

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  • tyro Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1921 W: 427 N: 7201] (28922)
  • [2018-02-17 17:15]

Hello Gert,

You almost always post three photographs at a time and yet each and every one of those photographs would be a perfect upload in itself, especially as your notes are always so inspiring too.

Obviously I am unable to translate the writing on the wall behind these vegetable vendors but I can see from your two workshop images that life was hard in those days, especially in the image of the lady walking through a tall and narrow street laden with boxes on her head - the sort of situation we imagine from poor African parts of the World.

And, while women toil with their labours and carrying heavy loads, we see in your other workshop image men hard at work with picks and hammers rebuilding their town - a sight far removed from the modern day of powered diggers and machines while workers relax leaning on their shovels and fill in forms and talk on their mobile phones.


Kind Regards,


  • Great 
  • CLODO Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2842 W: 1381 N: 3410] (42131)
  • [2018-02-17 23:03]

Hello Gert

Installation of the market in the street of the city , no stall but the bushels. The house wal is not painted, some words are written on the concrete, and the drying cloth are hanging in the sun.
Good old scanned slide

Hello dear Gert and have a nice day
sunday today and happy new week
somewhere in Porto in august 1984
so many years ago a different world
I like the simplicity and the way you use
the excellent chosen point of view
you capture the moment and you included
the slogan on the wall meaning
approximately the cost of living
increase and people cannot stand

Hello Gert,
This is a great daily life throwback. I like the grit, and all the interesting details. Of course the writing on the wall grabs my attention, but I also like the hanging laundry, the broken window, the colors of the produce and clothes. It's a nice documentary shot of everyday life.

Hello Gert

Sadly, poverty is rather photogenic! This is a fine documentary shot with important historical associations. I first went to Portugal in 1968, and remember scenes like this well. I'm glad you included the washing!

Kind regards


Hi Gert,
sensational theses pictures, an essence of people. The word painted on the wall are curious, but is a pure communist fallacy. I like of the two complementary photos too. Great job, my friend.

Hello Gert,

An interesting daily life image from quite a few years back that has a very good quality.

Best regards


Oi, Gert!

A frase escrita da parede poderia facilmente estar em alguma parede do Brasil atualmente... O enquadramento ficou muito bom e a frase foi bem posicionada, não tão no centro. A luz é muito boa e a vida cotidiana foi bem fotografada. Interessante a inclusão das roupas na parte superior, é um detalhe que deixa a foto ainda mais especial.
Ótima fotografia!

Hello Gert,
You could have told me this was from Cuba and I would have believed you. I wonder if the EU has helped the plight of Porto since 1984.

Hi Gert,

You have captured well a daily activity. The point of view is showing the work of the sale persons and the details ofn the food stalls. The light is giving good colors rendering. Have a nice day.


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