«A path of no return»: Faro nominated for European Capital of Culture

Cities selected for the second phase of the process are known on the 11th

«A path of no return» and an initiative for people and with people. The Candidacy of Faro the European Capital of Culture 2027 was presented last Monday, February 28, at Teatro das Figuras. 

This application, whose dossier was presented by Bruno Inácio, has the region's relationship with water as its main theme.

Other issues such as multiculturalism, climate change and tourist massification are also addressed.

Paulo Santos, vice president of the Chamber of Faro, explained, at the beginning of the event, that «Faro2027 is a process: a path of no return».

“No one was prepared for a project of this magnitude. We were all forced to review working methods and formulas, we were forced to lose the fear of taking risks and we were forced to leave our comfort zone”, he added.

In his presentation, the different stages of the process, the projects carried out, the European networks created were enumerated, but above all, the process was valued regardless of the fact that it will be Faro/Algarve to win the title.

The first panel of guests brought together representatives of regional entities who recalled the importance of this initiative for the cultural, economic and social development of the region in the short, medium and long term.

In this panel, António Pina (president of AMAL – Intermunicipal Community of the Algarve), João Fernandes (president of the Algarve Tourism Region), José Apolinário (president of the Algarve Regional Development and Coordination Commission) and Paulo Águas (rector of the University from the Algarve).

In the next panel, Vânia Martins (facilitator Faro2027) and Daniela Cabral (initiator Faro2027) told how it was to develop a consultation process that involved more than three thousand people.

Adriana Nogueira, Regional Director of Culture of the Algarve, answered questions about the importance of creating cultural strategies for cities and regions and Gil Silva, managing director of Teatro das Figuras, satisfies some curiosities regarding projects in the Strategic Plan for the Culture of Faro such as Km Cultural or Fábrica da Cerveja.

This group of guests was joined by Ana Bela Conceição, Regional coordinator of the Algarve and Alentejo coast of the National Arts Plan, who told about her experience in collaborating with the application in different projects such as “MI.MOMO.FARO” or “Culture for All”.

To talk about this experience and the important role of the European dimension in the application process, Fulvia Almeida interviewed Tiago Prata (cultural manager and member of the Faro2027) and Alexandra Gonçalves (director of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management).

The international aspect of the project was also presented by international guests via video, such as Jone Belausteguigoitia, architect from the University of Navarra or ​Léon Van Geest, director of the Rotterdam Rooftops Festival: “Rotterdamse Dakendagen”.

The ability to dream and create new communities around the candidacy was carried out by the last panel of guests: Sofia Martins (Team Faro2027), Liliana Pereira (Doina association) and Luís Vicente (artistic director of the Algarve Theater Company).

Through their experience in the process, they reported how important the participation of the cultural and creative sector in the application dossier was, but also of all other existing communities in the Algarve, including migrant communities.

The importance of the candidacy for the new generations was also highlighted and the Geração Cápsula project was remembered with the performance of Petr Gdsoon and the 1st year students of the Professional Course of Contemporary Dance Interpreter at the Tomás Cabreira school.

Rogério Bacalhau, president of the Chamber of Faro, in his closing speech, summarized that the entire journey made and reported by the guests are proof that «Culture is alive, in Faro, and in the Algarve».

«We can already say that today we are very proud of this path. From this whole process and where we have already reached. Because regardless of the outcome, Faro and the Algarve are already winners. And this wave will not be able to go back”, he said.

The official presentation of the candidacy Faro2027 to the jury will take place on the 9th of March in Lisbon, in an event behind closed doors, with the cities selected for the second phase of the process being known on the 11th.