During 2010, a total of 43 domestic violence murders were registered in Portugal

Before next life

How do you photograph silence? How do you photograph what is invisible or veiled? This is a problem since photography exists – indeed, since image exists. Whether because concepts, rather than tangible realities, are at stake, or because such realities are totally hidden from the eye of the camera.

Domestic violence, understood as a broad phenomenon, is one such case. It is omnipresent in every society, albeit invisible. It is illegal (indeed, it is a crime prosecuted ex officio) in our own society, but it resists social and legal sanctions.


Violence is not new in modern life: what is new is the nature of such violence, on the one hand and, on the other hand, the way we see it and frame it between the public and private domains. Its territory, its capital of impunity, is precisely the closed circle of privacy, which leaves outside the State, the laws and the civility required in human behaviour...


Celso Martins, in OLHA, fotografias de Valter Vinagre, ed.APAV, Lisboa, Outubro de 2011


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