MARIA MALTA & FELICIDADE COELHO
Barroso: Maria Gonçalves Malta & Felicidade Coelho
«So you like to photograph old ladies? Look! I was very pretty when I was 23 years old. Would you like to see it?»
MARIA MALTA 82 years old, single mother
Vilar, Boticas, May 2006
COELHO 74 years old
Vilarinho Seco, Boticas, March 2007
Being a woman in the interior of Portugal, highlander and deep, it's almost always a sign of pain and grief. Dark scarves are traces of a loss: the youth loss which threatens everything or the loss of the chief of the family who was dominant or — even more painful — two losses at the same time.
The family is the world of the man by excellence, where children and women stay as beings almost insignificant and frighten: it's not the men's job to kiss the hand of the priest…
There isn't any joy in the widows unless whenever the female indiscipline overcomes the outrage of the male's discipline. They call it abjection, dishonor!
Kiss, people! It seems to be this, in spite of all, the only musical scream of these women almost without existence, resigned and altruist; without other power except the power of taking care of the insignificant (the kitchen, the children…).
Women so many times in tears, but always waiting for a better world, rehearsing an escape at last; a hymn to joy.