In April 2019 I participated in the 10th edition of the “Photographic Narratives in Intendente” workshop, conducted by photographer Pauliana Valente Pimentel and promoted by Casa Independente. For the proposal to make a visual collection on a particular characteristic aspect of the Intendente neighborhood, in Lisbon, I chose the local commerce aspect, focusing on the establishment “JMA Graphic Arts Ltd.”.
Installed since 1998 in an interior courtyard of Rua da Palma, where a similar business had been operating for decades, Jorge de Melo Augusto's printing house is a living example of dedication to the industry to which it belongs. Is a peculiar space of persistent character in an multicultural area, in constant transformation and movement.
The three occupants, who make this their home during daily operating hours, have a long history in the typography field and put into practice a small workshop according to the expertise they possess. By combining older processes with some current tools, this printing house is resisting modern printing methods by using traditional, sometimes obsolete, equipment that still responds effectively to the demands of small and medium-sized merchants.
The atmosphere that prevails here, family-oriented and welcoming, is governed by the love for a centuries-old art, where the sharing of techniques and associated memories is done with joy and a desire for continuity. The future brings some uncertainties regarding the inevitable progress, however, the desire to move forward remains alive, challenging the difficulties, the apprehension and the wear of men and machines.
This photographic work aims to document the soul of this space, filled with the daily life of Mr. Augusto, Mr. Ramos and Mr. Santos. When directing one’s gaze inside, my goal is to highlight the heritage it houses, in order not to let the art produced there fall into oblivion.