In reality, the community was put up mainly by Cape Verdeans who arrived in the late 1970s, after the nation gained independence from Portugal. However in 2016, the local government actively broke up the neighborhood through a series of forced removals and police raids to make room for a new urban development project.
Documentary photographer José Ferreira spent a year in 6 de Maio, after learning about the attempts to dismantle the neighborhood, capturing the day-to-day activities of its occupants, with the aim of generating something that will help outsiders better understand the marginalized community in the photo series Out of Law.
The neighborhood won't exist in its current form for much longer. The demolition trucks are an almost constant presence now, as families are being relocated across Lisbon, away from the community they grew up in. Out of Law shows that 6 de Maio is about more than just crime and dilapidated buildings.
Ferreira hopes that his photos will help preserve the community in some way, long after it's been torn down.
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