Ontem (Yesterday) is the title of this project that started when I met H., who used to park cars in front of my house. As I walked my dog every day we would often end up talking. I showed him my interest in getting to know the streets he ran through and the quarters he hanged about. I was interested in knowing those territories, the back of the houses, the hidden landscapes of Porto, the alternative pathways through the city’s quarters, places to which, not knowing very well, I’ve been dedicating myself for some time past. We would work every week and sometimes for several days running. The absence of time I felt in the places and in the people I would come across, the danger and the reality’s harshness began to interest me.

For the first time I start making portraits. I asked myself, recurrently, why I was photographing. And only later did I understand that this project made all the sense to me. My life has always crossed with drug-related stories. The fact that I live in Porto’s downtown makes me face that reality every day.

Ontem (Yesterday) was the best word I found to describe this state of mind, for in this context the big question seems to be how to cope with time. How to spend time. How to spend time with a body and with a mind, and what to do with them. Hide, refuge, annul, forget. Try to be out of time.

André Cepeda
Porto, 2008