September - October 2017
An outsider's take on signage found across Portugal
One of the things that delighted me most about Portugal is that it did not seem to be stuck in any particular era, nor has it been homogenized by more contemporary trends (yet). Where other places I've traveled to seem to hang onto a particular "heydey" in their architecture, interiors and signage, a person can encounter three or four different decades in the span of a block in Porto. Some signs were instantly indicative of a particular time, others were without an age—both modern and nostalgic, or neither.
Economic hardships can account for both some of the preservation and inventiveness, but I think more than that it reflects a society that's not obsessed with change, nor is it doggedly holding onto the past. Portuguese history has continually required renewal—after a major earthquake, a dictatorship, and more recently a recession—and they've chosen to do so without forgetting or fixating.
Give me a holler
© 2018 Emily Hamre