“It is through photographs – together with stories recounted – that people lost in time and space can travel back to us” (Alù, 2010)
Frank e Nhana form part of the Cut-Out series, a self-narrated account of migration through memory. With a large number of my family members living elsewhere, in the diaspora. As they left, Cape Verde, they took with them their photographs and their stories. Memories became fragmented as they spread to distant shores. However, not everyone wanted to leave the islands, like Frank e Nhana, even though their photographs did.
Having their photograph taken at Foto Melo studios, became a treasured tradition for many caboverdian families. This was a kind of a ritual practice very much prompted by a respected elder, my grandmother (Nhana). For this project I found family photographs, whose origins were physically traced in the Foto Melo studio, the most popular studio in Cape Verde. Founded in 1890 […] In this period all life of Cape Verdeans, their traditions and festivals were recorded. This also included family and individual studio portraits and passport photos, which were very popular amongst those who were about to migrate and those who never left the Islands. Amongst the very few of those who did not leave Cape Verde, were Frank and Nhana Bia. […]