welcome to emmas housethought

de-industrialisation / fabricas vazias

lousa-2

Lousã, carpets.

lousa-1

tyre-factory

Figueiró Dos Vinhos, tyres, textiles, paper.

fig

fig-de-vin

cast-fig

Castanheira de Pera, mattresses, textiles

cast-3

cast2

Coimbra, biscuits, motors, everything

coimbra-3

coimbra-2

coimbra-blue

Condeixa-A-Nova

ceramic-5

ceramic-1

conim

ceramic-4

ceramic-2

20 Comments

  1. Ana Teresa May 7, 2012 10:23 am Reply

    It makes me so sad…

    [Reply to comment]

  2. Maria Silva May 7, 2012 4:52 pm Reply

    …That’s incredibly sad that it has come to this!! Portugal had such riches in industries like ceramics, pottery, linen and embroideries, in special in the North and Centre of the country! Now there’s nothing left, only empty and derelict factories! 🙁

    [Reply to comment]

  3. Cecelle May 7, 2012 6:23 pm Reply

    Very sad, but even more sad is that its not just Portugal.
    South Africa, UK, USA, etc all in the same boat. I wonder if one could turn around some of these by creating a living/working area for young people on an Israeli Mogav system. Communal work, profits shares. Those that dont do the (ie Pottery) work do the minding or teaching of the children, or planting and growing food – just needs the initiative.

    [Reply to comment]

    http://www.casadosanjos2010.blogspot.coom

  4. Sami May 8, 2012 2:37 am Reply

    Very sad, and what a waste of good space and buildings all falling apart.

    [Reply to comment]

    http://sami-colourfulworld.blogspot.com

  5. Simone May 8, 2012 5:10 am Reply

    more amazing images from the divine Ms. Emma. you’re fabulous! and yes, these pictures are heartbreaking, but so great that you’re capturing these scenes before they’re snuffed out altogether. (you may have seen the BBC story today about a shoebox full of pristine negatives from a turn of the century India…)

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  6. Denise May 8, 2012 6:15 am Reply

    Compelling photos. Time to bring back Escudos and to sell Portuguese products inexpensively again. Tourists do not want to buy facsimiles made in China. Time to redistribute wealth from the recapitalized banks to small local businesses at the same extremely low rates enjoyed by the giant banks. Time to focus on Gross National Happiness like another small country – Bhutan.(http://www.grossnationalhappiness.com/articles/)

    [Reply to comment]

    Emma   Reply: May 8th, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    I completely agree. It hasn’t been so long that the Portuguese would have forgotten how to be a self sufficient, village based, local market economy. And they shouldn’t see it as a step backward; just look at how we refugees from cities called Power, Capitalism and Stress are flocking here, to raise chickens, keep bees and restore small country farms. And it’s not at all just foreigners: http://www.expatsportugal.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=13622&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=10

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  7. nomad May 8, 2012 10:34 am Reply

    I don’t agree about this being sad as the current people of this world have the facilities of television to see what is going on.
    In the past this was not so, and all great civilisations, such as the Pharoahs, Greeks, Romans collapsed without the world knowing about it for many centuries.
    What is happening is the progress of civilization, all great empires fall apart and always will.
    Today we are seeing western civilization falling into decline and the future belongs to Asia, and for the next five hundred years we will see Asian people run the world.
    The thing to remember is that this is nothing new, just history repeating itself until the end of time.

    [Reply to comment]

    Fred   Reply: May 8th, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    @nomad, It is sad because looks to be a waste of resources and knowledge as the capital moved on. Moving to the cheapest producer or the lowest common denominator only works in a world where fuel is cheap. Not sure it is a sign of progress of civilsation ? Once fuel and asian labour becomes more expensive what local industries are we left with?

    [Reply to comment]

    Emma   Reply: May 8th, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Progress and civilisation are not exclusively economic terms. Uniquely, we humans grow in a moral, ethical and intellectual way too. Civilisation can also be measured in the way a community becomes more and less humanitarian. We no longer make human sacrifices to the gods for a good harvest: that is progress.

    What you are saying is no reassurance for those that cannot make a living (like us), or the 100,000 unemployed portuguese, or young people coming out of university with no opportunities. Your point of view might relieve you of any personal responsibility to help or make change for the better, to do anything, or even to care, and that certainly can’t be called civilised or progressive.

    Does anyone really believe that for China to succeed Portugal must be destroyed?

    [Reply to comment]

    Denise   Reply: May 9th, 2012 at 1:20 am

    @Emma,
    The brilliant young Portuguese engineer, Patricia, who is building/restoring our house applied for a Portuguese grant program for young farmers. She is going to plant 4,000 blueberry plants (at no cost!). Her family contracting business is going south but she is using her wits so she can stay and raise her child in the beautiful countryside.

    [Reply to comment]

    Emma   Reply: May 11th, 2012 at 12:58 am

    well that just cheered me up for the rest of the week. Patricia, força!

    [Reply to comment]

  8. Anna Pereira May 8, 2012 10:46 am Reply

    Sad to see these abandoned buildings.

    [Reply to comment]

  9. nomad May 9, 2012 1:03 pm Reply

    Emma, You missed the point of my statement. The industrial revolution destroyed the peasants,and couldn’t be stopped, the same is happening now as robots take over the menial work tasks, and in time create better jobs for the next generation.
    When I was in Japan of recent I went into supermarkets and didn’t see a worker. Robots stacked the shelves, and robots worked the check-outs. Who wants to work as a dreary, boring check out operator in today’s world ?
    I now see in Australia similar practices taking place in supermarkets, this is an on-going way of progress.
    In my life time I was always able to find a job in every country I visited, including India. You just have to have determination, if one job position is not available, take another job.
    Right now at this moment I am in Cairns and I have met English girls just out of university, and they have jobs in the tourist industry.
    Look for work all over the world and you will find work. However, you must have determination, be adventurous and search.
    My own three grand children have all completed university and they all have jobs. The eldest girl is a business manager and started at a salary of $100,000 per year. The second girl has joined the police as a trainee commander, and the boy has joined the army. All are doing well.
    Quite frankly I don’t know of anyone not working. The coal and iron mines are desperate for workers, even with no experience, anyone can obtain a job driving a huge truck, where the companies will provide the training. Many young girls are now working in these mines.
    Emma you say you cannot find work. No wonder? You live in a foreign country, this is most difficult without adequate knowledge of the language, in these situations you have to take any work you can find.
    The pictures you show of Portugal are the same in many countries, but in the UK many are now recovering as first class tourist centres, and many new bed and breakfast facilities. This is far better than working in the old slave labor shipping industries.
    I don’t regret the past fading into oblivion as I live much better today. Far into the future all countries will follow the same path as robotic services take over all the menial tasks.
    The future belongs to everyone going to university and using robots for all other types of work.
    Nobody in Australia wants manual labor picking fruit and vegetables anymore – I don’t blame them.
    Plenty of British people are succeeding in France and Italy as newcombers with inventive ideas, but they don’t live in the past.
    Quite a few fail because they have the wrong thoughts about life, there is no going back, only forward.
    If I was in your position and didn’t like Portugal I would be on the first plane out of the country.

    [Reply to comment]

    Fred   Reply: May 9th, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    @nomad,
    You are most likely born into the privileged part of the world were opportunities are easier to find. Not sure that the youth in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland etc relates to your thoughts and views. Robots will do the work? That is not what moved the work to China but cheap slave labour. 7 day working week 12 hour days eating and sleeping in the factory. I find your views simplistic and naive and maybe you never played Monopoly as a kid. We all know how it ends.

    [Reply to comment]

  10. Ana Pedrosa May 10, 2012 12:09 am Reply

    Emma,
    Your pictures tell a story and evoke emotion, I am impressed by your talent as a photojournalist.

    I wouldn’t want Portugal to return to the old days, where the primary role of women was to stay home, care for the family and had to struggle for respect in the workplace.

    Those factories are like an archeological dig, remnants of old ways of working. They pictures show the beauty of the old and provides a reminder the past.

    What is sad for me is that Portugal has so little investment that this space is not redeveloped and used in productive ways.

    I admire and respect those who work the land, and certainly I depend on the produce to survive. But, in Canada we have to import workers from poorer nations to pick fruit. It’s a difficult life and the work is undervalued.

    Wish I knew the answer, all I know is that we have to keep trying to find solutions.

    [Reply to comment]

  11. Maria Odete N. Oliver June 13, 2012 11:58 am Reply

    It is sad that this buildings are left to disrepair, and some with materials still inside. When a factory is closed down, why don’t they close the doors and windows, so that the elements don’t destroy everything inside. Ask people, if they want to do something with it. Young people are full of ideas.
    There are many buildings owned by the government that are left empty, to the elements, and when people (youth) take them over and start to repair them at their own cost (the whole community pitches in), like they did in Porto, with (Es.co.la), the powers that be come in and destroy everything. Shouldn’t they be happy that the youth care enough to see these buildings as an opportunity to provide some resources( probably very needed ) in their community. They should be helping them with small grants to do these things.
    Then they complain that young people don’t want to do anything.

    [Reply to comment]

  12. Maria Odete N. Oliver June 13, 2012 11:59 am Reply

    It is sad that this buildings are left to disrepair, and some with materials still inside. When a factory is closed down, why don’t they close the doors and windows, so that the elements don’t destroy everything inside. Ask people, if they want to do something with it. Young people are full of ideas.
    There are many buildings owned by the government that are left empty, to the elements, and when people (youth) take them over and start to repair them at their own cost (the whole community pitches in), like they did in Porto, with (Es.co.la), the powers that be come in and destroy everything. Shouldn’t they be happy that the youth care enough to see these buildings as an opportunity to provide some resources( probably very needed ) in their community. They should be helping them with small grants to do these things.
    Then they complain that young people don’t want to do anything.
    This really upsets me.

    [Reply to comment]

  13. Sergio Crisostomo July 11, 2012 12:37 am Reply

    Wow, nice and strong pictures. My mother is from Arganil and the reality of an abandoned past is present is a strong way.

    Nice blog. All the best,
    Sérgio

    [Reply to comment]

    http://www.sergiofrilans.se

  14. Dolores August 1, 2012 6:07 am Reply

    I love your blog and all you know about my homeland. I also like that you inserted a picture of my favorite portuguese dessert – pasties de nata!

    [Reply to comment]

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