European Capital of Culture 2027 puts Faro thinking (seriously) about space for artist residencies

Faro wants to be the European Capital of Culture in 2027 and the deadline to present the final candidacy is already in […]

Faro wants to be the European Capital of Culture in 2027 and the deadline to present the final candidacy is already in 2021. To increase the chances of success, those responsible for the culture sector in the Algarve capital want to create a structure for artistic residencies, which will allow them to be placed Faro on the national and international map of cultural creation.

this idea it's not new, but gained strength with the decision to Faro to apply to be the European Capital of Culture within ten years. Thus, the bet on a structure that can accommodate artists, so that they can develop their projects «is something that is already being thought out» and which could become a reality in the medium term.

“We started now, so it's not easy to set deadlines. But it is something we are not oblivious to and we realize that this is a gap that we must quickly correct», revealed Gil Silva, the new delegate director of Teatro das Figuras, in an interview with the radio program Impressões, jointly promoted by Sul Informação and by Rádio Universitária do Algarve RUA FM.

“I think it's essential to have a house that can welcome artists, so that they can create. Of course we can accommodate them in hotels, but it's not the same thing. In a space like this, creators can cook their own meals, have their freedom to be, which is unlike that of a hotel. This is not to mention the financial costs», he considered.

This will be just one element in a project that will have to be much broader and that will go beyond the borders of Faro.

«Having a capital of culture will change the cultural landscape, not just of Faro, but from across the region. This will force culture to become a priority for local authorities. This will be a kind of revolution. In the examples we have, only at national level, the post-Capital of Culture – despite some hangover – was excellent. Today we see the strength and the name that Lisbon, Porto and Guimarães have”, recalled Gil Silva.

Being the holder of the standard of European Capital of Culture could serve as a catapult for the cultural fabric of the region, which, in Gil Silva's view, is not given its due value. «The Algarve, as a cultural region, does not yet have the recognition it deserves at a national level», he believes.

According to the delegate director of Teatro das Figuras, «there is already a considerable fabric of creators in the Algarve». «Obviously, 365Algarve came to help these associations and breeders have the means to show themselves. This is an asset», he added.

The money comes through this cultural program, which aims to ensure that things happen in the region between October and May, but the share of national support for culture that comes to the Algarve remains thin.

«The support has now come out and the Algarve, at national level, has once again lost the expression of other regions. It is up to us, as Algarve agents, to fight for these asymmetries to stop happening. Otherwise, it's like a hake with the tail in the mouth: they don't work because there isn't and there isn't because they don't», illustrated Gil Silva.

One of the paths that Teatro das Figuras wants to take with this new direction is the bet on co-productions. The idea is to create this type of partnership with national and local structures, «although I think we should bet more on Algarve associations, as it is important to give more visibility to the local cultural fabric».


Click here to hear the full interview.