“(…) but when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.” 

Mark 4:6


´RAÍZES’[ROOTS] is one of the latest artistic projects of Francesco Zavattari, exploring the potential of photography, where the artist pays homage to the Portuguese tradition and to the Portuguese people, due to the strong connection he has developed over the years.


The name of the project is naturally born by the way in which Francesco first visited the enchanting city of Vila Verde, during his first times in the country. Immediately, the desire to do some artistic project dedicated to the welcoming people, the beautiful landscapes, the peculiar environments and details of an ancestral culture, still present, began to grow and then took shape. The idea of something ancient that still prints a mark in the contemporary world is a subject very dear to the artist since he can travel the world around with his art, but all he is lies precisely in his origins and in his homeland. Not a rare thing, but instead very common, that all we are is a combination of old and present times. In a way, there’s no better way to express this than through folklore - the tradition of a people, the culture, source of knowledge of our origins. Understanding and acknowledging the past helps us understand the present and better prepare for the future.


This series, started in 2019 with the collaboration of Grupo Folclórico de Vila Verde, aimed to explore the local folklore and traditions through the enormous potential of his camera lens, playing latter with lights and shadows that bring the richness, diversity and beauty of the regional costumes, preserved through the passion and resilience of people. Through a real record, but under the eyes of Francesco, stimulated by his artistic sensitivity, creative and innovative spirit, he focuses on the exquisiteness of the costumes, the beauty of the women and men who wear them, the attractiveness of the musical instruments and ancestral objects they use. The artist captures the temporal gap between the roots and the contemporaneity of the portrayed, faithful guardians of the ancestral tradition but, simultaneously, women and men of the 21st century, diverging from the documentary photographic record format, adding his aesthetic sensibility.


Beauty can take time but doesn't disappoint. Here is now, the full gallery of the inquiry and homage to the true keepers of tradition: the people, active agents of ancient traditions dissemination and the objects, silent keepers of the past, enclosing stories and memories.


Curatorship: Cláudia Almeida


Executive Production: Ana Paula Costa