About the Book
Festas are hosted by Portuguese councils in various cities across California. These councils elect young queens to represent their communities and participate in a procession to and from Sunday Mass. Each Queen designs an elaborate and colorful hand-stitched cape they wear, and floats with statues of many Saints are also carried during these processions. Afterward, all attendees are treated to a communal meal of sopas in the tradition of Queen Isabel.
This book is a documentary of festas I attended between 1990 and 2009. Photographed entirely in black and white, it combines fine art photography with cultural ethnography to resonates on many levels.
I am a Designer and Photographer whose wife is of Portuguese ancestry. She introduced me to the Portuguese Holy Ghost festas. Being non-Portuguese myself, I became fascinated with the visual iconography and sense of community exhibited by attendees to the festas. I photograph these events through the eyes of a cultural outsider, and capture extraordinary moments that pass as commonplace to the seasoned attendee.