ARTS | Photographing writers: a rewarding human experience

2 IMG_0606Writing Macao in Portuguese,” an exhibition launched by the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) in cooperation with the House of Portugal (Casa de Portugal), features a set of 34 black and white portraits of authors who have written or still write about Macau.
António Mil-Homens, who was invited to take the photographs, said that working on these authors’ portraits was “a rewarding human experience.”
After a similar exhibition showcasing photographs of Chinese writers was held last year, the IC decided to invite António Mil-Homens, who also works as a photographer for Lusa news agency, to work on this year’s exhibition.
On display until November 23 at the Old Court Building, the exhibit showcases portraits of Fernando Sales Lopes, António Conceição Junior, Tereza Sena, Rui Rocha, Miguel de Senna Fernandes, José Jorge Letria, Carlos Frota, Carlos Marreiros, Augustina Bessa-
Luís, and Ana Maria Amaro, among many others.
Rui Rocha, one of the authors featured in the exhibition, told the Times he was a bit surprised upon being invited. “It was a very sober moment [when I was photographed]. We took the pictures here at the university,” he said.
Currently serving as director of the department of Portuguese Language and Culture of the Portuguese-
speaking Countries at City University of Macau, Rui Rocha added that the theme of the exhibition should have been more consistent, to enable other authors, such as Beatriz Basto Silva, to be included.
“The exhibition features not only writers but also historians. Beatriz Basto da Silva should have been featured, particularly because she not only has a background in history but she also wrote and published poems,” he stated, adding that the photographer also could have been featured, given that he composes poems.
António Mil-Homens said he photographed authors in Portugal back in June, some of whom he had never met. “I had the pleasure of meeting some of the writers for the first time. It was extremely gratifying to talk and meet José Jorge Letria, whose writings I have been familiar with for quite a long time,” he said, adding that he felt sorry for not having the chance to actually photograph Agustina Bessa Luís, due to a health problem.
“I developed a certain empathy with each writer that I think was translated into the photographs. I was also quite pleased with the opinions provided during the inauguration, so I am happy the exhibition is being appreciated and that photos truly translate the authors’ personality,” António Mil-Homens stated.

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