The examples that were given in the last section evidence the centrality of this situation as a subject and a motif for artistic expression and engagement. They also suggest that the overall panorama in the cultural field was not structurally distinct from the one characterizing the social and political arenas: certainly a higher degree of turbulence, but no radical disruption that could question the very pillars of social order.
However, this is not the only way through which the Portuguese crisis haunts the artistic imagination. Its less explicit presence less than the artivism form is not at all ineffective. First, the hardness of the ongoing events grants a renewed pertinence to classic inquiries into the nature of human agency and destiny.
Will the city accept such a brutal price to assure its bailout? Is there a sort of collective fault that must be expiated by anything causing a huge pain?
Second, the presence and effects of the economic and social crisis show up as a sort of background for descriptions and narratives deployed on different topics. Lembra-me And now? Remind me. Third, this background forms a sort of negative, shadowy ambience that somehow pervades the whole artistic endeavour. Three striking examples can be taken in distinct arts. The election took place.
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The photographer portrays victims of war, migrants, refugees, poor people. It would then be a mistake to confine the sociological inquiry into the artistic problematization of the Portuguese crisis to the explicit discourses and representations. Section 2 illustrated that explicit presence. But it is not the only form one must keep in mind.
Lua Cambará - Nas Escadarias do Palácio () - IMDb
As section 3 demonstrates, equally relevant are the more oblique, nevertheless real and effective presence of the social crisis as a sort of background and ambience, in which topics and tones of the artistic imagination acquire new meaning and significance. The conventional sociological approach would be tempted to answer affirmatively: those were the refracted effects of the crisis on the Portuguese world of art, those were the artistic reactions and reinterpretations raised in such a time and context.
One could extend the research on content, but along these two main lines. The relation between the social context, challenging as it is, and the art work, autonomous and situated as it is, cannot be subsumed under the complex causality chains at stake. They have also to be regarded as independent social processes that dialogue one with the other.
The specificities of the context — here, the fact that it involves a huge crisis, both in political-economic and in moral-symbolic terms — do illuminate certain features and outcomes of that dialogue, which began before the crisis and would continue after its end. They act as revealers. At the same time, two other impressive realities arise. On the other hand, and foremost, it is precisely the internal structure of the oeuvre and the relation it undertakes with its time that feeds and improves the social understanding of the occurrence and significance of that hard, shadowy, critical time.
This applies to several artists working in the context of the Portuguese crisis. Film director Pedro Costa has built up, since the s, a quite singular work, in European and international terms. It can be said that at least one of his main focuses is the reinvention of his country: the metamorphosis of the last European colonial power into a peripheral Member-State of the European Union, having to deal with its colonial memories and sequels. These sequels include the presence of thousands of immigrants coming from the former African colonies to work in the construction industry, public works and unskilled services, who are relegated to suburbs and ghettos, struggling for survival in terrible conditions — that the recent crisis did aggravate.
The same goes concerning the work of probably the most influential of living Portuguese novelists.
Here, the last one, Caminho como Uma Casa em Chamas I walk like a burning house is perhaps the most important. Individuals and families facing existential deadlocks live in the eight apartments of an old building in Lisbon. Each of them or former lovers, friends and relatives tells us stories of suffering, frustration, treason, decay, solitude. They talk about dreams and hopes that seem irreversibly lost. And that old building, in the centre of the capital, full of frustrated lives and with no future ahead, appears as a possible symbol for the entire country — Portugal walking like a burning house, possessed by past and present torments and despair.
On the contrary, it is a recurrent motif, since the first books published in and Still, his characteristic interpretation, and the way he transforms it and expresses in literary terms, provides a really powerful insight into the hard times of crisis and external aid. And its heroes, victims of their own intestinal quarrels, and then victims of misunderstanding, injustice and persecution, have to be reestablished in their entire, authentic dignity.
The examples could be multiplied. Meanwhile, this does not consume all the instances and features of that interplay. A second branch must be found in the emergence or re-emergence of themes and issues brought into the artistic imagination. The re-examining of recent history is one of them. After a period in which the events of the decolonization were still fresh and traumatic in the collective memory, and the colonial experience only could be portrayed either from the negative prism of colonial powers or from the positive one of the colonized nations, the Portuguese culture gradually began to admit and incorporate new perspectives on that historical stage.
The Portuguese colonization in Africa and the dramatic conditions of the return to Portugal of hundreds of thousands of former Portuguese settlers and migrants in Angola or Mozambique were approached from the point of view of a young boy from a humble family with peasant origins Cardoso, This basic option changed the narrative and the assessment of recent history, somehow humanizing it. In , the film Tabu Taboo , by Miguel Gomes, would go further in that direction: the Portuguese colonial rule in Africa with its oppression and exploitation of native people was reinterpreted in the framework of the social and cultural experience of those Europeans who, in the s, had imagined Africa as a promise to fulfil their own dreams of youth, freedom and future.
In , in the new film by Margarida Cardoso Yvone Kane , the Mozambican drama of the post-independence and post-civil war era parallels the drama of Portuguese people personally or familiarly related to the African experience. The re-examining of recent Portuguese history through its tense relationship with Africa is not the only way to re-centre Portugal. As already mentioned, the European integration from onwards was consensually perceived as the happiest achievement of Portuguese democracy. The difficulties generated by the enlargement of the European Union towards east, by the shortcomings of the euro currency and, foremost, by the sovereign debts crisis of , outlined a new framework.
Its effects would transcend the narrow limits of a national case to reach the complexities of the imagination and construction of a new cognitive and social international order. This idea see Santos, was also a source of inspiration for Portuguese artists and curators. Typically the evolution of contemporary culture is reinterpreted from the point of view of the challenges raised by urban scenes and cultures and the triangular ongoing dialogue between Europe, Africa, and Caribbean and Latin America.
It is not surprising that, for instance in the collective exhibition held in and significantly titled Artistas Comprometidos? Engaged artists?
But maybe the most interesting stream of what has been tentatively described as the dialogue between art and its time-space, in the context of a huge, systemic crisis, resides in the impulse to revaluate Portugal itself. Celebrating the 40 th anniversary of the Revolution, one of the key art institutions, the Serralves Foundation, presented the first comprehensive exhibition about the SAAL initiative — that had been an entirely new experience of popular participation in urbanism, then launched by the revolutionary government and led by strongly committed architect.
It also urged the 21 st century visitors, in a hugely depressed nation, to reappraise a vibrant feature of its own recent history: the militant and euphoric participation of common people in the reshaping of their destiny. In the field of modern dance, several attempts were made to stage mutually challenging encounters of contemporary choreographies and choreographers with folk motives, rhythms and interpreters.
Notwithstanding, it is perhaps in the field of cinema that one can see the most promising approach to Portugal by artists working in the country, in the s. Once more this new trend is prior to One year later, in , it was released 48 , by Susana de Sousa Dias, a documentary of the Portuguese dictatorship, that lasted from to The film screens photographs of the political prisoners from the police files, along with the voices of their own current narratives of incarceration and torture.
Meanwhile, Joaquim Pinto chose the mountain to situate his already mentioned E Agora? Lembra-me ; and Paulo Rocha stressed, in his last film, a personal testimony, his own social origins in traditional communities simultaneously used to local primary economy and to transatlantic emigration.
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- Lua Cambará - Nas Escadarias do Palácio () - IMDb.
One could go on. But maybe the point is already clear. There is no direct link, let alone causality, between social processes that occur at distinct levels: the socioeconomic dynamics and the artistic imagination.
What is the Capital of Portugal and What Can I Do There?
But one illuminates the other, redefining relevance, suggesting meaning, and proposing interpretations. This article should be taken, therefore, as a methodological proposal, and its preliminary empirical testing. The proposal can be summarised in three sentences. The political discourse and social criticism originated in the artistic imagination and expressed in artistic language, being effective in any given context, takes an increased pertinence and value in times of systemic crisis; one must consider it, when trying to understand the whole scope of that crisis.
But this is not the only way by which the crisis is perceived and represented in symbolic and aesthetic terms, since it also forms a sort of background, an ambience framing and influencing those terms. At the first level, one should identify, describe and interpret the artistic problematization of politics, economy, ideology and common sense — by means of art installations, documentaries, fiction, performances, exhibitions, and so on.
These art works can be put in relation one with the other, and each or all of them with the social context and events. It would be an error, however, to treat them as direct effects or causes, the mechanical causality being the wrong way to apprehend the social situation and role of art, independently of which is considered the cause and which the effect see, among others: Hennion, ; Heinich, ; Lahire, If there are effects — and certainly they are, in both directions — they are refracted by the specific stance and grammar of art.
At the second level, the presence of social contemporaneity in the artistic imagination is even more diffuse. It is less a contingency factor than a more general ambience — an atmosphere that permeates either the sensibility of creators authors and interpreters or the sensibility of audiences, or indeed both. In that sense, the context stays as a background, whose oscillations contact through intersection or tangency with the oscillations in artistic inventiveness and discourse.
At the third level, we take into full account the reciprocal autonomy of social processes and look for the dialogical interaction they may have. There is an internal dynamism of the artworks — internal to the authorial project and deployment, and internal to the cultural field or art world to which it refers. The subterranean cistern, accessible from a three-metre accessway, is 18 metres long by 6 metres wide, and 6 metres in height, where water was collected from openings on its "roof".
Along the perimeter of the castle exist various bins or silos, originating from the Arab occupation, many of which are plant covered. A chapel with rectangular nave and narrow, lower presbytery lies outside the secondary wall, not too far from the entrance. The southern wall is highlighted by an arched doorway, supported by colonnades and decorative capitals, with vegetation or fantastical animal motifs gryphons and basilisks.
Alongside the area designated for the oratory, is a small rectangular niche for religious equipment. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Castle of the Moors Castelo dos Mouros. The north-facing wall of the Castle of the Moors, perched on top of the Sintra Mountains, showing the rectangular towers, including the Royal Tower top left. SIPA ed. Archived from the original on Archived from the original on 25 June Retrieved 12 October Cultural landscape of Sintra.
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