Faro invited 13 cities from as many European countries, which, in turn, invited photographers and authors to show “Europe at Home” during the Covid-19 pandemic. The project was launched this Thursday and the first results can be seen here.
In the case of the Algarve capital, Vasco Célio was the guest photographer and Sandro William Junqueira the writer. Vasco Célio's lens captured images of five families, closed at home. Sandro William Junqueira wrote about his craft in "time of plague".
Other photographers, invited by other cities, captured other moments and situations. Gabija Vainiutė who, according to Bruno Inácio, coordinator of the candidacy of Faro the European Capital of Culture 2027, «inspired this project», photographed families behind a window in the city of Kaunas, Lithuania.
As the artist revealed today, at a press conference that took place on the Zoom platform, when the confinement began, “I started taking pictures through the window”.
Then, she transformed this photographic “instinct” into a larger project, which led her to leave the house and photograph several families behind glass.
Looking at what is, for now, the final score presented by the 14 cities that are part of the project, coordinated by the city of Faro, «the conclusion we reached is that there are more similarities than differences», between the various countries, considers Gabija Vainiutė.
In the group of “authors”, there are not only writers, but also journalists, activists, performers, critics, essayists, teachers, anthropologists, translators, editors, musicians or poets.
One of the project's ideas is to «reflect on this moment we are living, creating a memory based on an artistic vision», explains the coordinating team of the initiative.
In total, there are works by 28 artists in this online exhibition, available at europeathome.eu. On this portal, internet users can view the photographs, read the texts (in the author's mother tongue and in English), obtain information about the cities involved and consult the biographies of photographers and writers.
Navigation can be done through a map, or through menus, by city, photographer or author.
Although many of the cities that started this project are involved in candidacies to be European Capital of Culture, the initiative aims to reach «any European city or artist», explains Bruno Inácio.
Bodø (Norway), Chemnitz (Germany), Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg), Faro (Portugal), Kaunas (Lithuania), Leeuwarden (Netherlands), Novi Sad (Serbia), Oulu (Finland), Piran (Slovenia), Plovdiv (Bulgaria), San Sebastian (Basque Country/Spain), Tartu (Estonia), Valletta (Malta) and Veszprèm (Hungary) are the cities that are currently involved in the project, but «any city that accepts the idea of the project, can join, inviting the writer and photographer you want. Just get in touch with us through the website», he adds.
The goal is for the map of Europe, which now has 14 markers, to have many more in a few weeks. There are four cities that are finishing their artwork to join the platform as well, and ten more have already shown interest in the project.
Despite the concept, centered on cities and the artists invited by them, all Europeans can also be part of the initiative, sharing their experience and images, on social networks, using the hashtag #europeathome. A compilation of these images can also be seen at project homepage.
To the coordinator of the application of Faro the European Capital of Culture 2027, “Europe at Home” is a very interesting project in our candidacy journey, at a time when we are charting our way towards this demanding goal. We are determined and excited to fulfill the task of getting to know each other better, getting to know our region better, celebrating our diversity, and sharing our cultural richness with the rest of Europe».
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