Friends and Photography: Maria Vlachou

by Nandia Foteini Vlachou


“The Nellie, a cruising yawl, swung to her anchor without a flutter of the sails, and was at rest. The flood had made, the wind was nearly calm, and being bound down the river, the only thing for it was to come to and wait for the turn of the tide…A haze rested on the low shores that ran out to sea in vanishing flatness. The air was dark above Gravesend, and farther back still seemed condensed into a mournful gloom, brooding motionless over the biggest, and the greatest, town on earth…

The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed somber under an overcast sky – seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness”

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1899)

Guadiana River, Alcoutim


Maria took this striking picture a few days ago and it immediately recalled to me the opening lines and chilling conclusion of my favorite novel, Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. It also gave me the idea of featuring a series of posts, with photographs taken by friends. Let’s see how that goes.

[Maria Vlachou has been living in Portugal for many, many years. She specialized in Museum Studies in London and she’s been working in the cultural sector ever since. She is extremely passionate about all things related to culture, its dissemination, and the ability and obligation of public cultural institutions  to reach wider audiences. She maintains a blog, which I strongly recommend, called Musing on Culture (I love puns…). She loves to travel and hopes to revisit Africa before the vaccinations from her last trip expire]