Ednardo dos Santos
"They knocked it down like it was a piece of paper"
Now living in
My name is Ednardo dos Santos, I’m 55, and I do general services.
It was a little kitchenette, it just didn’t have a bathroom, and those guys didn’t give any compensation. I lived there with my brother and sister.
[How long did you live there for?]
For more than 30 years. I arrived there when I was still tiny, and there were no houses here, it was all a marsh. We managed to get a piece of land and build a house on it, and then they came to do this thing here and it harmed everyone. They just said they would take people out and compensate them, didn’t they? In the end, they didn’t compensate anyone, they just gave compensation to my mother. The part above, which was big with a garden, where you could build another house – my father lives in an apartment now, but his house had a kitchenette at the back for us to live in, you know. Even my sister-in-law lived there after my brother died. She wouldn’t knock it down for anyone.
It had a great view, there was a hospital too and a road that went past there. There was a beautiful tree there that they ripped out good, an almond tree. There was a place to put a car, everything, in front, space to make a huge garage, nowadays my father doesn’t have space to put even a car.
They knocked it down like it was a piece of paper. At first they didn’t take anything out, and then everything was on the ground.
[What did you feel?]
Emotion, you know, of everything we tried over a long time, and they came and knocked it down in 10 minutes, because of this highway they built here. This Olympic highway.
I miss my brother who died and left a bicycle behind in that house.
[In that house?]
[Before the demolition?]
Yes, he had an accident, and we had his bicycle still at the back of the house. I don’t think they even needed to take us out of there. They didn’t use any of my father’s land. The land is empty now. It changed everything, you know? There’s no work, to get money, nothing. You can see for yourself, what footfall does the shop get? None at all. Everything stopped. What we used to earn, we don’t even earn now enough to eat. They left no footfall in the streets. I’ve got a car to pay for and I don’t have money to pay for it. I still have to get things from my father. It’s bad for everything here, the lack of football ruined everything.
Reporter: Jessica Mota
Photographer: Jessica Mota