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Photos and text by Melvin Quaresma

When I was five years old, I moved with my parents and brother from Belém do Pará to the south of the country, more specifically to the beach of Campeche, in Florianópolis. The abrupt change of environment is still alive in my memory. I remember well how I imagined that new place: there, very close to the beach, we would live in a small wooden house, multicolored, with yellow lights and people everywhere. My imagination, in fact, didn't run very far. That little wooden house in my mind was an imagined replica of my grandmother's house "Zinha" - where I lived most of my childhood, and where this essay resides.

In 2012, at the age of 17, I visited my maternal grandmother's house with a camera in hand for the first time. There I started this series, which initially carried no more than the intention of photographing people without the weight of shyness. Unlike other occasions, when doing portraits was a difficult task, in Grandma's house everything was easier. Quite honestly, that's why I started photographing my own family.

After a few trips to Belem and my grandmother's house, the reasons for taking those photographs were being rethought. Why do I miss things so much? Where does that come from? Why do I want to photograph things in an impulse to keep them? Is photography enough for me to hold on to?

There are still many questions that move this and other series in my work, but today I understand the photos in the house of my maternal grandmother as an uncontrollable impulse to try to save things, people, in a difficult way to understand. I feel very moved by the nostalgia, I get attached to things in an intense way, and my photography seems to exist in a fully way only when I feel in fact sentimentally connected by what I photograph. These are some photos from essay 913, the result of this feeling that I don't understand but that moves me a lot.

To find out more about Melvin Quaresma's work:


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