Blume - (English edition)

Condor is a tribute to the memory of the victims of Operation Condor a secret military plan implemented in 1975 by six Latin American countries ruled by right wing military dictatorships to eliminate their political opponents. This plan resulted in “extrajudicial executions” of at least 60.000 people. For almost a decade João Pina, has traveled extensively trough Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay to document what is left of the Condor years.

“ It is the forgotten quality of this disturbing episode of contemporary history that João Pina’s magnificent and haunting book of images seeks to evoke. In the pictures of relatives, of execution spots and torture chambers, or in the places where vanished people were last seen — and in the emotional faces of their mothers, fathers, children and lovers, Pina provides a heartfelt epitaph for people who’s lives were expunged secretly, their bodies disappeared, and at times, the fact of their very existences left in doubt.”
Jon Lee Anderson – staff writer The New Yorker


“The smallest of efforts is necessary; all energies are needed to transform the sad expressions and infinite pain reflected in João Pina impressive photographs contained in this indispensable book into smiles of hope.”
Baltasar Garzón – Spanish Judge

Por Teu Livre Pensamento
Assírio & Alvim - 2007 (Portuguese edition)

This story means much more to me than just photography. It is about my own heritage as a young man. It is about me, even if it happened many years before I was born. It is about a very small group of people that were arrested, tortured and sentenced to many years in jail because they thought differently. Both my grandparents were part of this group. My grandmother Albertina Diogo and my grandfather Guilherme da Costa Carvalho (who died in 1973) were members of the Portuguese communist party and fought with their ideals against a fascist regime that lasted for 48 years in Portugal making it the longest dictatorial regime of western Europe in the XX century.

The story is neither new nor is it exclusive to fascist regimes, but to me, marked by this heritage and seeing how uninformed my generation is about what happened only a few years before we were born, it had always made me unconformable. I felt it was my task to revive their memory so that they do not die (as some already did) with their stories. I paired up with Rui Daniel Galiza, a young Portuguese writer, to interview and record these people’s tales. What is shown through these pictures is but small sample of what thousands of people suffered in Portugal, and unfortunately still do in other countries with other regimes. This is my homage to the ones who still fight for what they believe in regardless of the high price they will have to pay.

João Pina