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"No small number of these whaling seamen belong to the Azores, where the outward bound Nantucket
whalers frequently touch to augment their crews from the hardy peasants of those rocky shores."
- Herman Melville, Moby Dick

"For us, geography is history.
Like mermaids, we have a double nature: we are flesh and stone.
Our bones dive into the ocean." - Vitorino Nemésio


This project brings together a series of videos made between 2003 and 2008 which use common source material. The videos are about the idea of island from an emigrant point of view - a point of view which involves a profound sense of nostalgia (saudade) for the lost landscape.

The Azores Islands lie along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in the triple junction region between the North American, Eurasian and African tectonic plates. It is naturally an unstable location. The last active volcano was Capelinhos, which erupted off the coast of Faial island in September 1957 and remained active until October 1958. We were living on the neighboring island of Pico that year when my mother and her brother took a boat to Faial to record the volcano on an 8mm home movie camera. In making this series of videos I relied, for source material, on those movies as well as others shot by Alzira Simas, Padre José M. Neves, and Joseph P. Alves between 1954-1958. Sources for sound include cassette tapes made by Padre Neves between 1973-1975.