Frederico Colarejo (b. 1979, Lisbon, Portugal) Lives in Bristol, England. Colarejo is a photographer whose interests are mainly focused around the landscape and how human interventions affect the environment that surrounds us. His photographic approach is predominantly documentary drawing upon notions of history, society and culture. He is a recent graduate from documentary photography at university of South Wales, Newport. Today we take a look at Frederico’s series titled POSSESSIO MARIS.
This photographic body of work portrays the remnants of abandoned crab and lobster tanks that can be found in several places along the coast of Portugal. Most of these structures were built during the first half of the 20th century and today, gradually falling apart, they’re at risk of disappearing forever.
These tanks used to belong to restaurant owners and were created to keep crustaceans alive and fresh ready to sell to customers. They were built during a time when the population benefited from greater prosperity, however, with the country’s rising financial struggle this trade stopped being profitable, which led the majority of tanks to permanent closure.
The future of these structures is now in the hands of time and the forces of nature, forces that will incessantly destroy and transform these ruins until one day upon which all evidence from the past vanishes, leaving small vestiges, fusing more and more with the rocky landscapes and sands of the Portuguese shores.
When observing the remnants of these structures and their obvious relationship with the sea, a relationship so integral to Portugal’s history, there’s a suggestion of a link between these ruins and the loss of power of a country that, in other times, during the maritime exploration era, enjoyed great fortunes and prosperity. However, this immense power that Portugal once had eventually vanished, leaving behind the remnants of a wealthier and glorious past.
These tanks have also had their time of success and glory. Today their vestiges stand for something that integrates history, the history of the land where they inhabit, and also the history of Portugal – a country that once possessed the sea and stretched the boundaries of the world.
All photographs were made between December 2013 and April 2015
To view more of Frederico Colarejo’s work please visit his website.