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Photo: Carlos Alberto Teles de Figueiredo

Hands That Do All

Tondela, Portugal 2012

Mãos dos Sete Ofícios/Hands That Do All investigated centuries’ old sustainable labor and craft practices in rural Portugal, an economically stressed region rich with traditional hereditary knowledge. Over the past three decades, this region has experienced declining population and reduced agricultural production. Our exploration uncovered how long-practiced trade knowledge, now on the verge of extinction, can coalesce a community: agricultural and manual production has informed generations of cultural cohesion. Creativity has been used as way to not only solve problems, but also to enhance the beauty that resides in everyday routines. We created portraits of traditional makers of: baskets, shoes, olive oil, bread, wine, tools, instruments, and more. These portraits, permanently installed in each of the region’s 26 villages, form a new regional cultural landmark.

Photo: Micaela Ferreira