|Dimensions||240 × 165 mm|
print-run 300 copies
240 x165 mm
With texts by Diane Smyth, Sandra de Vivies and Jorge Pinto
French / Portuguese / English
published by Intimate Structures
Some years ago, while sitting on a train in Portugal, Vincen Beeckman stumbled upon the town of Espinho and it’s fishermen’s quarter, a self-contained area of the city consisting of twenty streets at the most.
Espinho was once home to a large fish-canning factory, the de Fábrica Brandão, Gomes & Cª, established in 1894 by two pairs of brothers from the local area. The fishermen of Espinho had a loyal client in the brothers Brandão & Gomes. At its peak, this company employed no fewer than 400 people – including children.
With the introduction of huge industrial fishing vessels, floating factories, coming mainly from neighbouring Spain, little was left for the fishermen of Espinho to fish. The coastal factory has been closed for decades. Only two ships of the local fishing fleet still navigate the currents of the Atlantic. Espinho’s fishermen still catch their fish using the ancient Xávega method (also known as xávena), whereby small wooden boats go out to sea to cast baited nets, that are later hauled in from shore.
After his first encounter, Beeckman frequently returned to the fishing quarter for a number of weeks each year, to photograph this vanishing world. With this publication, launched together with Espinho’s community, Vincen Beeckman pays homage to an era that is about to come to an end.