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 phe- nomenon, 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. (…) Few subjects could be less attractive and more dispossessed of glamour and photogeny than the life of persons victims of violence. The media circus generally uses them to emphasise the humanist facet that we all believe we have. The serene complicity of valter Vinagre’s images refuses such parasitical approach. In truth, they say only one thing, in different ways. Look. Understand what you can. If you can. And act. If you can.
Celso Martins