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A myth is a story from the time when men and animals had no difference. To live in a shared land with other species with whom we cannot communicate is the most tragic, the most offensive, fault to the human heart and soul. Myths refuse to accept that condition as original. André Príncipe’s Anima – Encounters with wild animals in Portugal - is in line with those myths.

 Meaningful encounters with animals in our land are now very difficult due to ignorance, cruelty, loss of habitat, utter disrespect, desire for domination and profit. When animals see us, they wisely fly away, run away, or turn their back to us. The photographs in this book are portraits using a normal lens that reproduces our field of vision. They are not about voyeuristically observing animal behavior, but an attempt to encounter animals as our equals.

 The images were taken across continental Portugal, the Azores and Madeira, over a period of 20 years. They are the result of a lot of patience, a lot of waiting, a lot of help from those who still know about animals. In Portuguese language, the word for portraits – retratos – means going back. On the land, we can still see traces of times when men and animals, psychedelically, lived together. These traces, statues, drawings found their way to this book. They are a reminder of how things can be.

 In school, we were told that the animals that lived in Portugal were domesticated; dogs, cats, chickens, pigs, horses. The wild animals lived in distant lands, or in our zoos. In almost every culture, the names of animals are some of the very first words said by children. And yet, how disappointed and bored they are when you take them to a zoo! Those aren’t the animals as they know them, as they named them. 

 Only 35 000 years ago, elephants lived in Costa Vicentina, southwest of Portugal. Sperm whales, vultures, seals, sharks, chameleons, deer and eagles still do.  Children remember what our teachers forgot long ago. This is a children´s book. It aspires to contain the wisdom of children.


Embossed Hardcover, 18x26cm, 100 pages
ISBN 978-989-53531-9-4

Portugal: Free
Europe: 8 Euros (normal) / 12 Euros (tracked)
Rest of the world: 12 Euros (normal) / 16 Euros (tracked)