Nicole Sánchez is a wedding photographer from Lisbon, Portugal. As part of Project Disrupt, she captured the crumbling and neglected buildings of her city’s abandoned historic center, and the people who still call these streets home. This series was shot with the Sol 45, Lume Cube Lighting Kit, and Mountainsmith Camera Bag.
My idea was to walk the streets of the old neighborhoods of Lisbon. There are many abandoned homes and old houses that have suffered from the rising housing market. People have been forced to move out or stay living in poor conditions.
I wanted to explore still subjects, architecture, and what those who were born and raised in Lisbon are now experiencing. We are losing a part of our history to hotels and tourist rental houses.
I hoped this would force me to interact more with strangers and try some street photography, quite the opposite of weddings that I usually shoot. But my main struggle was the absence of people that I was able to approach to photograph. So I turned my camera more towards architecture.
One of the days, I walked down only one street and found more than 20 small shops closed. They looked like they had been closed for a long time with clear signs of decay and lack of maintenance. This was actually a street where I lived as a child. I remembered it as busy, full of people and cars, but clearly, that was long gone.
We have been seeing a lot of old commercial shops, especially those dedicated to fruits and vegetables, being abandoned or closed. Often leaving an elderly couple unemployed. Sometimes, what I thought was an abandoned house, surprisingly still contained a family.