Monday, 27 January 2020

Seven days in New York

MoMA entrance (Photo Maria Vlachou)

I was flying to the ISPA Congress earlier this month with some concrete expectations: an opportunity for intense political thinking regarding the cultural field worldwide; visiting the new MoMA and its People’s Studio; attending Public Theater’s “Under the Radar” festival and watching Jess Thom performing Beckett’s “Not I”, as well as Guillermo Calderon’s “Feos”. I got all of this and much more (oh… so much more…). And still, I came back with a bittersweet feeling about our field and our self-image.

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Radical TRUST

The People's Studio: Collective Imagination, at the new MoMA (image taken from the website)

Hospitality. Courage. Humility. TRUST.

I was in my RESHAPE group’s last meeting for 2019, reflecting on art and citizenship, and I wrote down these words, which kept coming up in our discussions. The word “TRUST”, though, was one that I was carrying with me from other meetings and discussions in the last months. It had sprang on so many occasions, that it finally caught my full attention.

On December 13, the last day of our RESHAPE meeting, we woke up to the news of the British election. One of the first articles I read on that day was entitled “Why people vote for politicians they know are liars”, the pressing question on many people’s mind that morning.

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Resistance: to change, but also to tradition

Cellist Patrice Jackson performing back in 2002 (Photo: Andrew Sacks for The New York Times)

My first ever post on classical music, written in 2012, was entitled “
What’s the problem with classical music? Apparently none…”. Seven years later, I still believe there’s nothing wrong with the genre itself, but there are many wrongs in the way it is being managed.

A few days ago, an article in the New York Times informed me that women were not “allowed” in the Vienna Philharmonic until 1997. Even today, only 15 of its 145 permanent members are women. And they actually still make a maximum of 30% in classical orchestras in continental Europe.

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Plural Lisbon


The intense public debate regarding the creation of a “museum of the discoveries” has slowed down in recent months. However, it significantly and, it seems to me, irreversibly marked the discussion about the role of museums in the Portuguese society, the ways in which one can and should look into the past, the reasons why this past is preserved and researched.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Peace, Justice, Strong Institutions


Here's my introduction to the panel "Peace, justice, strong institutions: How can and should museums play a role in an increasingly unbalanced, politically challenged age?” at the NEMO conference in Tartu.I´ve included references to other presentations made during the conference. Ler aqui

Monday, 2 September 2019

Guest post: Making things public through exhibitions - 'Our' Cosa Nostra, by Foteini Kopiloglou

Palermo, Sunday morning, sun was long up before Sicilians, and there I was toiling endlessly up the Corso Vittorio Emanuele in the historic centre, pushing my feet obediently onto the pedestrian area following the recognition of Arab-Norman monuments as a World Heritage Site. Walking around Palazzo Gulì again and again, I found myself standing in mute astonishment and dumbfounded disbelief (how could I not see that?) in front of a NO MAFIA MEMORIAL. I suddenly felt grateful for abandoning my normally “prudent” expedition since the holidays began, and I plunged into the challenge of investigating a socio-political exhibition, in a setting outside the traditional gallery.