A House on Castelhanos

 

Watermelon. Castelhanos, Ilhabela, Sao Paulo, Brasil. October 2017.

One day, in the middle of my art residency on the island of Ilhabela (Sao Paulo State, Brazil), I got a ride  with a 4×4 Jeep (one of the few vehicles that can navigate the rocks and holes over the island’s central mountain which is part of the Atlantic Forest), to Castelhanos. My visit was but a few short hours, but one kind couple welcomed me into their home.

They were exceptionally sweet. We exchanged names but sadly I forgot to write theirs down. We managed to communicate somehow – me with my poor Portuguese, and the three of us with our hands. He was a fisherman who made his own nets. She stayed at home. I never asked if they had children.

The house had one small bedroom, large enough for a bed and a chair, a very modest kitchen, and an even more modest bathroom. Outside, in the back, a few chickens ran about. She proudly showed off her new washing machine to me; her life has been made easier. This washing machine matters. Shortly after that I left. If only I can recall their names.

He. Castelhanos, Ilhabela, Sao Paulo, Brasil. October 2017.

She. Castelhanos, Ilhabela, Sao Paulo, Brasil. October 2017.

Kitchen. Castelhanos, Ilhabela, Sao Paulo, Brasil. October 2017.

Kitchen. Castelhanos, Ilhabela, Sao Paulo, Brasil. October 2017.

Bedroom. Castelhanos, Ilhabela, Sao Paulo, Brasil. October 2017.

Top of the Washing Machine. Castelhanos, Ilhabela, Sao Paulo, Brasil. October 2017.

Chicken. Castelhanos, Ilhabela, Sao Paulo, Brasil. October 2017.

2 thoughts on “A House on Castelhanos

  1. loriweberauthor

    Your pictures are so wonderful but how sad. The people’s faces look so defeated and tired and the squalor of their home is depressing. I won’t say charming because someone that is condescending. I don’t know anyone who would want to live in such decay and poverty.

    Reply
    1. Tamar Granovsky Post author

      their lives are not easy, at all. the one time she smiled was when she showed off her washing machine to me. they live by subsistence. much of brasil’s population is impoverished. then again, the majority of this world lives in impoverished conditions – many in much worse shape than here. it is very sad. it’s sad that so little is being done for so many. somehow despite all the wealth in the world so many people have to live like this or *much* more basically or homeless. no-one wants to live like this. of course people would like more creature comforts. but they have a roof over their heads and 2.5 rooms that they can call their own.

      religion is what sustains most people. i have also found that despite utter poverty, most people are open and kind. and those who are open are as interested in me as i am in them. i’m not sure i have met people like the many brasilians i have encountered on my three trips, here. their warmth is a big reason i’m attracted to this place.

      Reply

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