Portraits from Kosovo by Xavier Martins

“Under the Blackbird’s Eye” is the name of an exhibition by the Portuguese photographer Xavier Martins. After spending months in Kosovo this photographer took a series of pictures from people in different settings. Albeit common people with common lives, what is most striking are the stories of these people. Among the most striking examples are the pictures of a nun with a small monatery in the background. After talking to Xavier Martins you are told that this convent has been blown to pieces, along with 140 others in the region. One of the most beautiful pictures is that of a bunch of kids swiming in a big pound. With arms one wide a boy, the same boy in the exhibition’s poster, dives in the water. Again, talking to the photographer, you realise this is a crater formed after a bomb explosion and are informed that this water contains impoverished urainium.
The opening of this exhibition in Lisbon was a huge success given the artistic quality of these pictures. This exhibition has now turned into a project, as part of the proceedings from the sale of these pictures, in limited editions, will go to projects aimed at helping children in need in the region of Kosovo. For those who cannot afford to buy these pictures there is also a selection of 18 postcards available soon for sale online, this being one of the main engines of the project.
These pictures will travelled the world and will be shown in different cities in Portugal and Seville, A Coruña or Belgrade, among many others. Besided helping children in Kosovo this photographer’s idea, who is now 95% committed to this project, is to get enough financial support to travel to this region and to photograph these people ten years after. The task will be daunting but is been made easy by the gentle collaboration of people and organisations who are helping him keep track of these people and to find out what happened to them since these pictures were taken.
For further information or should you like to exhibit this pictures in your town please search for “Under the blackbird’s eye” on Facebook.

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