The extravagant people of 5h30 am

dare to walk on the dark road.

They do it without any modesty or hearing,

focused step by step,

as if the street was only

an extension of their own legs.

At most,

they speak to the she-mate on their side.

If we pay more attention, there are almost only she-mates

walking in the streets of Lisbon

at 5h30 am.

They have dark skin

and follow fast and heated,

with slippers and short sleeves

and pulled or braided hair.

They carry bags on their hands,

as they’ll change clothes once arrived at the workplace.

By 6h am the day is lighter

and there are less walkers on the street.

Only cars and vans pass by.

The day will have to be even lighter

so that lighter-coloured people

walk through this street.

The day will then be warmer

But they will bring more coats and less bags.

They will come slower,

on that pace of who benefits

from an already prepared space.


The nostalgic people of 5h30 pm

In this so-Lisbon street,

on the one side, a school,

and on the other side, an old lady behind a closed window.

The kids get out, with their carnival masks.

All girls are princesses

and boys are pretty much what they feel like.

The lady is alone and looks at them.

I’m not sure if she sees them.

Her face has many marked creases,

maybe as many as her kids



all of them far away, and she is alone.

Between the lady and the kids,

Benfica’s street

and the numerous people waiting

at the bus stop.

And nobody looks at each other,

kids run and play on their own,

adults look at the floor, alone.

Only the lady observes them.


Words and Photography by Inês Vieira

03/06/2013 & 20/02/2015

Inês Vieira (1986, Porto) is a young researcher (human ecology) and educator based in Lisbon. Works on migrations, interculture and other social issues. Fond of books, lover of undressed images and words. http://rebelonya.blogspot.pt/


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