Thu 28 November 2013

New online… citybooks Lisbon

This autumn, citybooks Lisbon opened up shop. While we’ll have to wait a little while for the stories by authors Tim Etchells, Patricia Portela, Sus Van Elzen, José Maria Vieira Mendes and Dulce Maria Cardoso, the 24 photos by Maria Fialho are already online!

Tim Etchells © Hugo GlendinningTogether with partner organisation Alkantara, the latest citybooks edition comes to fruition on the Portuguese coast. Alkantara supports contemporary performing arts, and three of the participating authors have close ties to the theatre world. In addition to his activities as a writer and artist, Briton Tim Etchells (photo) is the leader of the world-renowned Forced Entertainment from Sheffield. Patricia Portela is involved with performances and cinema and leads her own company, Prado. As well as an author of theatre pieces, José Maria Vieira Mendes translates theatrical texts by Beckett, Pinter, Brecht and Fassbinder, among others. The Belgian journalist Sus Van Elzen and the renowned Portuguese author dulce maria cardosoDulce Maria Cardoso (photo) complete the resident quintet. The authors’ residencies will take place over the coming months.  Their stories, inspired by Lisbon, will be published online in the coming months as web texts, e-books and podcasts. The texts will not only be available in Dutch, English and French, but also in Portuguese.


To see the people be

© maria fialhoDuring her years as a student, Maria Fialho sought out the river Tagus to find calm and restore her energy levels. ‘Watching the Tagus and the traffic of boats between its two banks – ferrying to-and-fro the commuters who worked in Lisbon but lived across the water – gave me courage and the confidence that I, too, would one day depart for unchartered waters.’ For citybooks Fialho returned to Lisbon, with a single line by Fernando Pessoa in mind: “Não é por nada que olho: é que eu gosto de ver as pessoas sendo” (‘Not for nothing do I look; I love to see the people be’). Because, according to Fialho, seeing people be helped her imagine how she would wish one day to eventually become.

© maria fialho

The Lisbon of her memory has since been transformed into a more tolerant and cosmopolitan city, one that has finally found a way to begin to integrate its diverse ethnic communities. Africans and Brazilians, immigrants to the city’s suburbs decades ago, today work alongside other Lisbonites, and all go out to party in the streets and allies of Madragoa, Bairro Alto or Cais do Sodré ‘in cheerful and vital surroundings that, for me at least, seem a very long way away from the saudade, nostalgia, and fado-drenched atmosphere of yore.’



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