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"AND I AM SPARSE..." introduction
19/09/2020 - 27/09/2020

“and I am sparse in dense fluidity” 
Gestures of Freedom

The BUALA cycle at maat

The democratic maturity of a country is not unshakeable, the same for its freedoms that so many times are put under threat. From the meanings and practices of those freedoms in our daily life, artistic and social (irradiating to other contexts), the purpose of this cycle is to rethink freedom and try it once again. We are facing a sanitary and social crisis, which has accentuated the precariousness and discriminatory action towards certain groups. The environmental crisis is looming and the hierarchisation of humanity increases. Aware that social well-being is far from happening, freedom is under our tongue. However, freedom can be something very different depending on the space, environment, and moment, which we are referring to.

In a society still marked by profound gender inequality, and understanding emancipation and freedom as processes that are daily struggles, we debate achievements and rights, and expectations when it comes to the body, career, maternity, representation, circulation, and artistic proposals. Part of it are also sickness, violence, sexual freedom, the domestic universe, the world of labour (and invisible labour), the internalisation of deprivations and our current forceful will to break with the status quo. We think of freedom in the time we are living, as contributing for a portrait of the country in its structures and inequalities, with the help of paths of intelligence, courage, emancipation, and the fight for happiness.

As part of the celebrations of the 10 years of the BUALA platform and having freedom as an eternal ambition and activation, we are going to talk to artists, thinkers, and agitators. Anthropologist and filmmaker Catarina Barata, whose work focuses on obstetric violence, will talk to us about social, cultural, economical, and political factors connected to childbirth. Sociologist Inês Brasão will highlight the plural condition of the body and of the labour of women, and Sara Goulart will reflect about the body, sickness, and healing.

We will have film projections, followed by talks: Parto Sem Dor [Painless Labour] by Maria Mire, tells the story of doctor and feminist Cesina Bermudes; the portrait of a country in a mosaic of several women in the film Mulheres do Meu País [Women of My Country] by Raquel Freire, with remarks by professor and economist Susana Peralta; the path of geographer Suzanne Daveau and her archive of “travel-images” that Luisa Homem reveals; and the testimonies of fighters for the independence of Guinea-Bissau, brought by Rui Vilela.

Ana Gandum and Daniela Rodrigues dive into the photographic souvenirs of Portuguese migrants between Portugal and Brazil. Gisela Casimiro shows with irony the history of western art by way of her Personal Museum, discussing it with Patrícia Azevedo da Silva. Researcher Filipa Lowndes Vicente talks to us about her book A Arte sem História: Mulheres e Cultura Artística [Art Without History: Women and Artistic Culture]. Fernanda Eugénio presents her methodology for the experiential investigation of relationship and reciprocity. Andreia Cunha satirizes the social effects of the expression of ridicule in a visual essay. Closing the cycle, Marta Mestre tells us how it was to curate an exhibition about language, failures, and fiction.

* “and I am sparse in dense fluidity” is an excerpt of the poem Women Overboard by Margarida Vale de Gato (Mulher ao Mar, Mariposa Azual, Lisbon, 2010), translated from the Portuguese by the author herself (source: Also in 2010, BUALA was launched, an online portal about decolonial and feminist thought and culture.
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