Lavrar o Mar descends to Portimão to reveal the Invisible City

Involving the Portimão community, the city's 100 years will be celebrated in a creative way

Presentation of the Library of Strings and Knots – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação

Portimão will have, throughout 2024, the year in which it celebrates the centenary of its elevation to city status, «an artistic and cultural program of European dimension and breath». The guarantee was left yesterday by Giacomo Scalisi, from Cooperativa Lavrar o Mar, who will be largely responsible for a year of art and culture.

The presentation was made this Monday during the solemn session of City Day and left those who attended with mouth watering. It's just that only a small part of the veil has been lifted.

Giacomo Scalisi announced that, «at the beginning of 2024, between the months of January and February, we will bring together a multidisciplinary team, in some way linked to the city of Portimão, with skills in the fields of anthropology, architecture, literature, history, among others".

The result of this exercise, he added, «will be the starting point for, throughout 2024, to shape a cultural program that will, increasingly, appear in different formats, with the aim of preparing what will be the final moment of this celebration , the date of elevation to city, which will take place in December, next year».

«There will be a strong presence of new circus, theater, music, dance and plastic arts shows», the intention of which is «to build a progressive occupation of the city of Portimão».

Through this artistic project, «imagined with different artists, national and international, and their artistic universes, we will be able to add and surprise, a new look at the daily life of the city itself», said Giacomo.

It will be «a path of development of artistic activity that will challenge different sectors of society, be it local cultural structures, schools, squares, museums, homes, streets, theater and, of course, the population of Portimão».

Want to know more? «At the end of February 2024, the programming project will be presented in all its details», he announced.


Giacomo Scalisi presenting the project «Invisible City» – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação


But yesterday it was already possible to get to know three projects that are part of this «Invisible City» program, presented by the Spanish artist José António Portillo, who will be responsible for them.

Helped in the translation by Madalena Victorino, Portillo revealed that the first project will be the «Library of Strings and Knots», which «will work deeply with the school community, with children between 6 and 14 years old and their teachers».

«It's like a heart that will beat within the city, an installation within the city, to be visited by many children and their teachers», added the artist, who was himself a primary school teacher.

«I won't talk about the content, but I will say that this Library speaks of a school that is timeless, that maintains universal principles, such as the ability to listen and be silent. And this is very important in a society that is full of noise, where people no longer know how to listen or decode all the information they receive», he added.

«It is also a tribute to the importance of narrating knowledge». Turning to the audience, he said: «If I ask any of you, if you remember any teacher, you will certainly remember the one who told well, not only stories, but mathematics, history, geography…».

Basically, the «Library of Strings and Knots», which has been traveling around Europe for 22 years and which, in Portimão, will gain a «new skin», intends to «show that analogue teaching can coexist perfectly with digital».


Museum of Time – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação


The second project will be the Time Museum. «It is a museum that we will build in Portimão, sustainable, that will not generate public expenses, will not generate electricity and gas expenses, nor will it have employees», joked José António Portillo.

It is «a museum that will be underground, 50 centimeters deep, I insist, sustainable».

And how will it be built? «During the year, we will contact several groups of different generations, from the youngest to the oldest. We will ask you to search your memory for an object that is linked to Portimão and your personal life». This object will be buried, inside a «metallic box, which could even be a tin can», 50 centimeters deep, «so that this memory remains».

These “burial sites” will be chosen by the people themselves, as important places for them, within the city. «And these various points, where these memories are stored, will build a new map for Portimão. Inside that box, underground, a letter will be placed, «written by this boy, or this lady, or this man, or boy, or girl», speaking of the «very important reasons why I wanted to keep the memory of this person forever. object, within the ground of your city».

Basically, «it is as if the memory of Portimão was not only collective, it was also individual and personal, and almost anonymous. Because the people who live there are also builders of a memory for the city, which cannot be seen, the invisible city». Promise!


Organic Paths – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação


The third project has a title that uses «a term stolen from Fernando Pessoa»: Caminhos Orgânicos.

Here, the objective will be to work with teenagers, an audience that is more difficult to captivate.

«We will meet a series of teenagers, who will be asked to show us the paths they take in the city and what happens in their lives on those paths. Along this path, we will discover what the invisible Portimão is, which has smells, which has noises, which has designs of places, corners. They are, in essence, invisible paths», explained José António Portillo.

Then, “the most important place for this young man will be chosen and, through a photograph taken by a professional photographer, we will collect his shadow. Finally, an exhibition will be made with the photographs, with a QR code, where we will be able to hear what each teenager's organic path is. It will be a photography exhibition, but with an audio system, so that you can hear these teenagers' stories about their personal, invisible paths through the city».

Intriguing to say the least, isn't it? In conclusion, the Spanish artist admitted: «they are three apparently very simple projects, but which, for me, as a former primary school teacher, seem very stimulating and exciting to do and carry out».

Now we just have to wait for all this to start to materialize. And only in February will it be known what the remaining schedule of this Lavrar o Mar will be that will help celebrate Portimão's 100 years as a city.


Photos: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação


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