MUSGO(moss) is a series of photographs that reflects the feeling of non-place and abandonment, weaving together desolate locations with blurry self-portraits.
When a Brazilian photographer finds herself in an Azores island in 2020, what could translate the sensation of an alien discovering part of her own culture? This project emerges in the middle of her immigration process. But who were the ones that migrated first?
Islands divided by an ocean are part of the same ocean that brings hope.
MUSGO aims to draw parallels between immigration and colonialism and how moss invades the gates and crosses the cracks. The colonization of Azorean people in the 17th century is still very present in south Brazil where It’s common for locals to identify themselves as Azorean, even though the knowledge about what this means in terms of national identity and borders remains hazy.
Michele comes from one of these colonized places, Florianópolis (an island much like the Azores) where people identify themselves as azoreans, even though for many the means to prove their ancestry has been long lost to the sands of time. Her grandmother, for instance, doesn’t have any documentation to trace her origins from the times when her ancestors migrated south looking for a better life.
In recent times, Michele has been tangled up in the midst of her own journey of immigration. Seeking residence in Portugal, first as a student and now as a professional, she finds herself now facing a colonizing culture while exploring her own identity.
MUSGO was shot in São Miguel, in Azores, during Michele’s second visit to the island. The photographic series aims to recreate the feeling of a fierce nature lost in the middle of the ocean and the mixture of green emptiness and blue solitude that results in a scenario embedded with symbolism and magic.
The project hopes to continue in South Brazil and the other islands of Azores, representing a bridge that crosses time and borders. Furthermore, it has an educational potential in both countries, Brazil and Portugal bringing to the forefront what was once lost to history.
You can check all the pictures in https://dinizmichele.com.br/musgo