Sunday, 14 January 2018

Me, my Parents and my Two Brothers in 1951


This family portrait is perhaps the oldest surviving image of my early life.
In it my mother awkwardly holds my younger brother Alberto, a sleeping baby who had been born on Good Friday, March 23, 1951 so I must assume this portrait was taken three or four months later and I had turned 2 years old in May of that year.
My father sits looking to the side, slightly patriarchal in a dream-like stance while us, the three boys are sleeping, such as my older brother Nelson, who seems to sleep whilst standing against my father's legs and myself as my father holds me with his left hand to keep me from falling forward.
My mother looks straight into the lens lending the image a real connection with the surrounding environment. She is the anchoring reflection of a time long gone and one that survives to this day.
Both my parents are now deceased, as well as my brother Alberto, and so Nelson and I remain separated by our own realities, distant in time and space. This photograph will keep us together until the end of time. That, I think, is the real value of photography: the validation of the past, the re-enactment of memories no matter how long ago they were taken.
The past comes alive in our eyes and the mind can dream.