“At the Same Time” is a poignant story about two men living in Buenos Aires. The two men, Eduardo and Miguel Portnoy, are twins, and their story is told through a series of poignant portraits through the lens of fellow Argentine, and photographer, Ignacio Colo.
Colo told In Sight that he met the twins purely by chance. He was driving along in his car one day and saw the two crossing the street, walking hand in hand. He was struck by the scene and thought to himself, “I have to take a picture.” But when he was able to stop his car and look for them, they had vanished. As luck would have it, he was standing next to a newspaper stand and asked the salesman if he knew the twins who had walked past. The man said he did because they walked past the stand every day. So Colo explained that he was a photographer and would like to meet them and left his business card. A few days later, Colo got a call from the twins, and they met and eventually spent three years working on their story.
The Portnoy twins are 51 years old and have lived together their entire lives. According to Colo, the two men have never been apart since the day they were born.
Over the years, other members of the Portnoy family have died, including their mother, father, uncles and their only brother. According to Colo, the brothers have no close friends but do not feel lonely because they have each other to rely on. They live together and they do everything together as well.
In addition to each other, though, the twins have the support of the Jewish community. Colo says this community is their last safety net, “that gives them employment, helping them materially but also, to a certain extent, emotionally.”
But in the end, the Portnoys’ bond as twins is what sustains them. As Colo says, “All in all, their main support is the love they have for each other, and that symbiosis is so typical of twins. The two of them are their only shelter, built on love, loneliness and vulnerability.”
Colo is a photographer and photo editor living and working in Buenos Aires. For a time, he lived in Paris and studied the history of photography at the Sorbonne. When he returned to Buenos Aires, he finished his photography studies at the Escuela Argentina de Fotografia. He also studied cinematography at SICA, the union of filmmaking professionals.
Today, Colo works as a photographer and photo editor at the Sunday magazine of La Nacion. But he also regularly publishes work in a variety of international publications including the Financial Times, Le Monde, El Mundo, Volkskrant and L’Equipe Magazine.
You can see more of Colo’s work on his website, ignaciocolo.com, and follow along with him on Instagram @ignaciocolo
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