Ora Pois: With critical pieces of colonization and dictatorship, Portugal is featured in festival in Santos


In celebration of the bicentennial of Brazilian Independence, Portugal is the guest country of Mirada – Ibero-American Festival of Performing Arts, which takes place from September 9 to 18 in Santos. The selected pieces have in common a critical look at Portuguese official history and the colonization process.

The festival’s program, designed by Sesc São Paulo, includes eight Portuguese plays and a co-production between Portugal and Chile.

The work “Brasa”, by the visual and performance artist Tiago Cadete, focuses on the issue of migratory groups between Portugal and Brazil. The project brings together Brazilian artists who migrated to Portugal, as well as Portuguese who were already immigrants in Brazil, starting from reports to reflect on the anxieties of migrants.

The Portuguese-Chilean play “Estreito/Estrecho” satirizes the figure of the Portuguese navigator Fernão de Magalhães (1480-1521) and his journey to the natural passage between the Atlantic and the Pacific that now bears the explorer’s name. The work presents its own version of this story, reflecting on colonials that still endure.

With Isabél Zuaa in the cast, the play “Cosmos” features actresses of Cape Verdean, Portuguese and Angolan descent, presenting and revisiting African and European mythologies to propose the birth of a new world.

“Our goal is that the festival has, in addition to enchantment and proximity to the public, an opportunity for reflection and a critical look at the historical processes between Brazil and Portugal, or former colonizers and colonized”, says Emerson Pirola, from cultural action management of the Mirada festival.

“Colonization was above all a process of violence, and this needs to be understood, today, in terms of its consequences in the present. May the festival be, then, a space for the bodies that still suffer the consequences of this process to be able to count as well their stories”, he adds.

The productions “Os Filhos do Mal” and “Viagem a Portugal, last stop or what we walked to get here” bring a more political approach, presenting memories and consequences of the Salazar regime and the Carnation Revolution, which in 1974 ended the dictatorship.

“The circulation of artists not only from Portugal, opens space for other historical perspectives and connects us directly with the African continent and is fundamental in the understanding of our society, formed by the colonial relationship with characteristics still inherited from a world that was organized by the imperialist logic. “, reflects Emerson Pirola, from Mirada’s cultural action management.

In all, the festival features 36 plays from 13 countries, including shows for children. The presentations take place in several spaces, including Sesc in Santos.

The complete program is available on the festival’s website.

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