This photo essay, O Milagre da Multiplicação, was created by artist Beatriz Temudo. In Episode Four–Hiraeth–we talk about the feeling of being homesick for a place you can no longer return to. In this photo series, Beatriz documents the aftermath of wildfires in Portugal which have permanently altered the landscape of her home. For her full artist statement, scroll to the bottom of the page.

O Milagre da Multiplicação by Beatriz Temudo

Each year Portugal is consumed by numerous wildfires. However, the attention focused on this issue dissipates quickly. Media coverage of death and destruction is sensationalist, but investigations of the deeper issues are superficial. Portuguese politicians promise preventive measures and greater resources, but nothing is done. The truth is that humans are guilty of the wildfires and industries and governmental organisations profit from this situation.

O Milagre da Multiplicação (The Miracle of Multiplication), explores the impact of the wildfires — and the material, human and national loss to my country. It reflects the sense of grief that most people share, even if not directly affected by the fires. Photographs of the scarred landscape raise questions about why and how this keeps happening.