Dia 30 – Return to the printing press! (:Ollie)

Another day in sunny Salvador! We had arranged to meet Andre again who had kindly agreed to help us with some translating. The three of us met up outside of the Jorge Amado foundation in the morning and headed down the hill to Tabuao Street where the printing press is based. The mornings are always the most interesting here, and as usual people were buzzing around, unloading trucks, chatting, doing deals and getting on with life. Passing the hive of activity we walked down the hill. It is amazing how quickly the city deteriorates as you head from the upper part to the lower part. Almost immediately we were passing hollow buildings, left with nothing but a façade held up with steel girders, or else overgrown with foliage. The printing press at number 55 (5 away from the fictional address of Amado’s Tent of Miracles) was open and in full operation. We were once again welcomed in and this time, armed with video camera and voice recorder, Andre asked the owners some questions we had prepared earlier. It was so satisfying to be able to ask some meaningful questions, previously the language had completely prevented us from gaining anything but photos.

A while later the three of us left, and headed on to another printing press round the corner that had been recommended by the guys in the first one. A more modern set up, the owner lamented the decline of the typographical industry, which he cited as his main reason for leaving the industry. Computers and industrial printers had developed at such a pace that he had been unable to keep up. One area that particularly interests us is Cordel Literature, another phenomenon that has rapidly declined, though the owner said he used to print them in the thousands. On that note we headed towards the model market where we had been told about another printing press. The man who ran it was less inclined to be filmed, but answered our questions with similar responses. Overall the morning was extremely useful, and gave us renewed faith in parts of our project!

After thanking Andre with ice cream the three of us walked home (turns out we live very close!) and we flaked out for a bit. Popping out to the square in front of the military barracks we grabbed a light lunch for a couple of pounds at a café with the most talkative waiter ever, all we could do was nod as he spoke Portuguese at a thousand miles an hour! Afterwards Rosie went back to Skype and I went for a stroll to collect my film, and then to a bar on the other side of Pelourinho to write up some of the day. Shortly after Rosie joined me, and we watched the sun set over the harbour to acai and the sound of a guitarist. On the way home we popped into Rangos to say hello to Daniel and his family at pub food night, where we ended up staying for some really good falafel and juice before gratefully collapsing into bed at some ridiculously early hour. It had been a very intense day!


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