Wednesday 23 February 2022

The cultural habits… of the Portuguese cultural organisations


“Many people are uncomfortable with the label ‘the arts’ and associate it only with either the visual arts or ‘high art’, such as ballet or opera. (…) At the same time, most people in this country have active cultural lives and value opportunities to be creative.” These two sentences were not taken from the Gulbenkian Foundation's study on the cultural habits of the Portuguese. They were taken from Arts Council England´s Let's Create document, which presents its strategy for the 2020-2030 decade. In the Portuguese context, the former sentence sounds very familiar; the Gulbenkian study does not confirm the latter, but it could be a wish. Will it…?

Thursday 10 February 2022

Having time, sparing time


S. Miguel, Azores (Photo: Maria Vlachou)

A few days ago, I read an interview with Greek film director Sotiris Tsafoulias, in which he said: “Being an artist is not a profession. A woman who has five children, no husband, cleans stairs and still puts a bowl of water for a stray dog ​​or looks at us and says 'good morning', to me she is an artist. A person does not become an artist when they pick up a microphone, a brush or a pen. The way a person deals with ugliness, the way they metabolise it and give it back as goodness or light, the way they position themselves in the darkest moments of their life, for me, this is what makes a person an artist, regardless of profession."