The Copacabana – Panoramas of Rio de Janeiro exhibition was launched this evening at the Museum in Tavira. Its is an outstanding exhibition. The Mayor launched the exhibition along with the Consul General of Brazil in Faro, Ambassador Manuel Innocencio de Lacerda Santos Jr.
The launch was well attended and the Curator of the exhibition Claudia Fares, explained the background to many of the images, photos by famous photographers such as Marc Ferrez. and Augusto Malta In the first room of the exhibition there is a 360 degree view of the city captured at the end of the 19th century. Many of the images capture the fun of the beach, the carnival or are explorations of the urban and rural landscape.
One important exhibit is the map of Tavira. In November 1807, when the Portuguese Court departed for Brazil, many state documents were taken including the “Overhead sketch of the Map of Tavira” by Jose de Sande Vasconcelos, made years earlier between 1786 and 1790. This map has returned to Tavira as part of this exhibition. Jose de Sande Vasconcelos, was born in Evora in about 1730. He had a long military career which involved a cartographic survey of the Algarve. He died in Tavira in 1808.
The map on display is a large coloured sketch enriched with representations of the buildings. Complimenting the map is booklet that provides an extensive explanation of the buildings, the seashore where salt was produced and springs where clothes were washed. The map also outlines the military structures.
Other works include water coloured lithographs that portrays Rio de Janeiro as an exuberant and unique landscape.
Here are just a few images from the launch. Do notice the floor which has been reproduced as calcadas that can be found along the Copacabana strip.
Its well worth visiting this exhibition and there is a free booklet explaining the context of the times and reasons for choosing the images for this Panorama of Rio de Janeiro.
Since September 2012, Portugal along with Brazil, has been celebrating the year of Portugal in Brazil and Brazil in Portugal. The celebration “Year” has involved a range of artistic and scientific exchanges between both Countries. The aim of the year is to showcase a young, modern and innovative country, in which the economy, the arts, science and business play a central role. The celebrations continue until Portugal Day, on 10th June.
To mark this important “Year”, Tavira has been chosen to host a very special, indeed unique exhibition. In an interview last week, at the Consulate in Faro, Consul General of Brazil in Faro, Ambassador Manuel Innocencio de Lacerda Santos Jr, explained the significance of this year and the Consular involvement. “The Palácio da Galeria in Tavira will be hosting an exhibition called “Copacabana – Rio de Janeiro Panoramas”. As a career diplomat who has represented Brazil in Prague, Baghdad, Toronto, São Tomé and now Faro, he believes involvement in the local community is important in building peaceful relationships between Countries and one way of doing this is through art and culture. He said “The diplomatic life in general is a life of sacrifice. We live outside of our own Country, so that we can represent it to other people and other cultures. We live with our loved ones, in distant lands and ask our own family members to also live the same life of sacrifice, especially our children, who are required to periodically say goodbye to their friends and enter new schools and find new friends.
But this life also provides many joys, like this one, where we are able to represent our Country in charming places, such as the Algarve. For my wife and I, who came here from a Country, exotic and distant, it is indescribable the immense happiness we feel as Portugal is so close to home – and I do not mean the geographical distance. It is powerful, after so many years, to return, to speak the same language, and be able to taste delicious dishes so close to the kinds of food we know so well.
Amongst these pleasures there also occasionally come golden opportunities and the “Copacabana”, exhibition about Rio de Janeiro, which is my hometown, is just such an opportunity. We are very happy that our new friends in the Algarve can view these pictures of my “Marvelous City”.
Since we officially opened the Consulate in Faro a year ago, we have been busy. We have promoted the Year of Brazil in Portugal. We have met the Brazilian community and also shared some of our culture and our art with the wider community. I am sure this exhibition will demonstrate the beauty of Rio, so much so, that people will want to visit “my city”. It is a fairly accurate picture of how Rio de Janeiro affectionately embraces nature and how because of this, in turn, the city rewards everyone with warm caresses”.
This exhibition has been on display in Brazil and is now making its way to Tavira for the launch on May 18. The exhibition explores Rio de Janeiro´s urban development as a city that first ignored the sea. Until the late nineteenth century, Rio de Janeiro was a city set within nature, with buildings facing away from the sea. Its beaches, when used, welcomed only those seeking the water as a remedy for various ailments. Rio, although capital of an empire, was a city of provincial habits, which had not yet awakened to the possibilities of a modern era.
In the late 19th century, the city, as the capital of the newest Republic, proclaimed that it would change its “presentation and habits” and “become presentable in the community of developed nations”. This was an attempt to “civilise” the city. It was the Belle Époque of Rio, when the Rio de Janeiro became the showcase of Brazil.
Urban reforms were implemented. The city was modernized with sanitation being introduced. The port was cleared and cleaned and Central Avenue was opened up (1904), which was all part of the “new times” where consumption patterns and behaviours began to change. Fashion and sport were popular pastimes, and the city provided space for both.
The centre of the town with its wide straight avenues that led down to the waterfront and beaches had previously been unoccupied. Now crowds began to come to first watch races and competitions and then to adopt the beaches as extensions of their living rooms.
Copacabana established itself as the heart of this tropical paradise, and Rio de Janeiro established itself as the city-resort, radiating fashions and customs, and a showcase of Brazil.
The narrative of the exhibition begins with the exhibit called “Contemplation”, which brings together 17 observers contemplating various angles of the city.
The panorama of the city stretches to the horizon – geographic, urban and human. Many of the photos and images were created by great photographers, both Brazilians and foreigners, such as Ferrez Marc, Marcel Gautherot, Thomas Farkas and Joseph Medeiros, amongst others.
There are 10 images of Guanabara Bay and Sugar Loaf Mountain which together comprise a cutting edge iconic panorama of Rio de Janeiro, where beaches were still not the meeting point of the city’s inhabitants. It is a Panorama of Nature, almost deserted, the city being contemplated.
A miniature model has been reproduced from drawings and photographs, taken from the Album Central Avenue (now Avenida Rio Branco), authored by Marc Ferrez.
A video installation of Copacabana reveals aspects of the neighborhood, which tract the development of how it became famous for its beach and its customs and ways, that have always dictated and affected the rest of the country and the world.
Two other series of photographs make up the “Panoramas of Life at the Beach” and “Carnival in the city of Rio de Janeiro”.
Curated by Claudia Fares, people will also be able to see a rare collection from the National Library of Rio de Janeiro: This collection is made up of ten lithograph watercolours, panoramas of the nineteenth century, which reiterate the physical and symbolic links with Portugal. One image in particular has been specially chosen as it is a panorama of Tavira, made by the engineer José de Sande Vasconcelos, believed to have been created somewhere between 1786 and 1790.
The official opening takes place on May 18th 2013 and continues till September 15th. The Consul General of Brazil in Faro, Ambassador Manuel Innocencio de Lacerda Santos Jr will attend the launch and it is also hoped that the Brazilian Ambassador to Portugal based in Lisbon, will also be able to attend. The launch takes place at Palácio da Galeria in Tavira/ Tavira Municipal Museum.
Another opportunity to experience Brazilian culture will be taking place in Tavira in July. A dance performance to the sound of Villa Lobos’ music for classic guitar is currently being rehearsed and more details will be provided nearer the time.
Some of Algarve Photography Group, partners and friends visited Tomar, Castelo do Almourol and the studio house of Carlos Relvas between the 15-17 April. They stayed at the Hotel dos Templários a central location in Tomar. The group travelled together by coach, with picking up points in Tavira and São Bras do Alportel arriving in Tomar about 5 hours later.
The town is compact and is easy walked around in a day, but more time will be needed for the Convent of Christ. The river Nabão runs through the ordered park in the town. A reproduction waterwheel is inside the park and trees shade the visitor from the sun. There is a feast of architectural abundance in Tomar. The convent of Christ is one of Portugal’s remarkable monuments. It stands on a hill, which most of the group climbed without too much trouble. It was well worth getting the guide for the day as he knew the fastest route to the top of the steep hill.
The convent is a mixture of buildings dating from the Roman period to the 18th Century. The Convent/Castle was founded by Gualdim Pais in 1160. Others that involved themselves in the development of the buildings were King Manuel I and Joâo III. Phillip II established his court there so as to be recognized as ruler of Portugal. Parts of the building were also developed under the guidance of Henry the Navigator.
The Order of the Temple was founded in Jerusalem by Hugues de Payens with several others in 1118. The intention was to protect Christian pilgrims who made their way to the Kingdom Of Jerusalem in the Holy Land. The Templars became the bankers, as pilgrims concerned about robbery en-route, would leave their valuables with the Order for safe keeping in exchange for a bill of exchange. This was handed to the commandery in the Holy Land and the agreed sum could be withdrawn. Despite the fact that they were merely caretakers or guardians, this is how the Templars came to manage enormous assets. The effectiveness of the protection offered by their military activities made the French monarchs and others wary of the Templars. Their activities as warrior monks became increasingly unpopular. Accusations were leveled against them and a puppet Pope Clement V in league with Phillip the Fair issued a papal bull the Pastoralis preeminentie against them on the 22 November 1307. By 1312, the Templars monks Order was suppressed. The Grand Master, Jacques De Molay, and others were condemned as Heretics to be burnt at the stake. However in Portugal King Denis was in no hurry and although suppressing the Order, placed all Templar possessions under the protection of the Crown. Soon after King Dinis founded the Order of Christ, which in reality was a continuation of the former Order. Then by the papal bull of Ad ea exquibus of 14 March 1319 the knights and possessions of the Templar Order were transferred to the newly created Order of Christ. They set up their headquarters in the castle of Castro Marim. In 1357, the headquarters were moved back to the castle in Tomar. In 1529 there was a clear separation between knights and friars and the Order became closed,, contemplative and monastic under the Rule of St Benedict. Thus the building took on the character of a Renaissance convent.
The main building has Romanesque features, such as the Rotunda built in the 12th and 13th Centuries. Much of the architecture of that period Gothic and Romanesque seems to have had a common aim of emulating the circular buildings of Church of the Holy Sepulcher or the Mosque of Omar in Jerusalem. The Charola, with its opulent gilded ceiling ribs, is breathtaking. Seven painting remain of the original 14 painted panels, all representing religious scenes from the life of Christ and the suffering of the Virgin Mary. The paintings on the vaulted ceiling of the Charola date from the time of Manuel I.
In 1503, Manuel I ordered work on the Upper choir. The work took from 1510 to 1513 where a west façade was built between two large buttresses. The central axis is the famous Templar window. It is considered one of the finest examples of Manueline style, with representations of coral, seaweed, cork oaks, chains, ships ropes and the holy tree of Christ. A rope runs horizontally across the façade and every element that is included has a symbolic meaning. There is a mixture of heraldic and biblical devices and symbols, with a huge belt and buckle of the south buttress.
The group spent the morning exploring the Convent and later moved into exploring Tomar itself. The second article will be about the Synagogue in Tomar, the Castelo do Almourol and the studio house and colourful life of the Portuguese photography Carlos Relvas.
More information can be found about the Convent, in The Convent of the Christ, Tomar by Paulo Pereira
On Saturday 27th April, at the beautiful Bela Romão Croquet Club, overlooking the azul waters of the Ria Formosa Islands, a Fashion show and charity lunch was held. The event was to raise money for RIAS, the wildlife hospital, located in the Ria Formosa National Park, Olhão. Fábia Azevedo, the centre representative, shared with the visitors, how the centre staff shelter and nurse hundreds of orphaned chicks who are brought to the centre each spring.
Western Algarve fashion designer Jouk and her ten models paraded down a red carpet catwalk in front of the Moroccan style tents where over 60 guests enjoyed a scrumptious lunch of watercress salad, Panko crusted baked brie on a bed of caramelized apples, Marrakesh chicken Tagine on Saffron vegetable couscous and ginger snap ganache torte with rose water Chantilly. All this was prepared by Sarah, the New York City trained Slow Food Chef.
As the club members played croquet on the great lawn in front of the clubhouse, day guests meandered through stalls of blown glass artwork, hand crafted jewellery, cards and aromatherapy gifts. An assortment of live music played throughout the day. Bob Dylan impersonator, Andre Viane sang, the accordion musician Koos Terphoven entertained and Lita Gale happily acted as DJ playing a mix of good music.
Charitable raffle prizes were graciously donated by club owner Lita Gale of Lita Gale Solicitors (a years membership to the private club and a free legal consultation), Californian Chef & joint owner Sarah Byrne (romantic dinner for two), Maureen Jones (Jewellery), Andre Viane of Cine Clube de Tavira (cinema posters), Taran Flaten (coloured glass), Maureen Jones and Katerina Chrenscova (alternative therapist/masseuse). Together over €500 was raised for RIAS and as a big thank you surprise from Fábia and her colleagues from the sanctuary, a short toed eagle, nursed back to health, was released back into the wild after being brought to the centre with massive gun shot wounds caused during the hunting season.
Lita Gale and Sarah Byrne would like to say a big thank you to the event organiser Lynne Booker, of Algarve History Association for all of her hard work and ongoing efforts to bring such events to the club. Lita would like to mention that club membership is open for 2013 and day passes for guests wanting to enjoy a game of croquet, Sunday Brunch or just hang out by the pool. Visit their website for news of ongoing summer events. www.belaromaocroquet.com
Did you know that there is an interpretation room in São Bras do Alportel Museum, dedicated to Cork? The town has a long history of its production and extraction as well as the creative use and development of the product. This room is where the Cork Route Tour starts, if you sign up with the Rota da Cortiço Association. They offer a range of tours for the young and those less agile.
Many cork trees, along with carob and olive trees were destroyed in last July’s fires. Cork farmers have lost not just one crop but many years of cork harvests. Although they are replanting, the new trees will not be harvested by most of this generation of cork farmers. Sofia Carrusca, 32, the Association guide whose grandparents of both sides are cork farmers said, “When the cork from the new trees is harvested, I will be an old woman and my grandparents will not see many more harvests”. Cork Oaks (quercus suber) and its history are part of the fabric of São Brãs do Alportel. 60-70 cork factories once existed in the town, now there are two. One of the factories is mechanised and the other uses traditional methods of processing the cork.
Cork is farmed, mostly, in France, Italy Spain, Tunisia, Morocco and of course Portugal. Portugal accounts for 50% of the world market. The Barrocal region with acid soil is a comfortable place for the trees to flourish. The tree is an evergreen that can grow up to 20 metres and live for 200 years. The tree grows slowly and transplanting is difficult, so care is taken in nurturing new plantlets.
Once the tree is about 25 years old the cork can be peeled off from the standing tree. The first stripping is called virgin cork and is not considered good quality. Cork is peeled off again from the tree 9 to 12 years later. The cork then regenerates over the next 9 to 12 years and is then harvested again. The third peeling produces good quality cork.
Part of the tour goes into the Serra de Caldeirão, so that you can explore or at least visit a cork forest. The cork is harvested in summer, mostly in May, June and July. Even then, it depends upon whether the tree is willing “to give”. If the tree is too dry then the cork cannot be extracted easily and the farmer will wait another year before harvesting. It is the tree that determines when it wants to share its outer bark, not the farmer. Harvesting is skilled work and Sofia said “on a June day the skilled worker, with a specialised axe, walks into the forest and it is a spectral ecstasy”, to see him begin asking the tree if it will give its bounty. A team of men work together, to peel the cork oak. Skills are often handed down from father to son.
In Portugal, cork oak is mostly a product farmed by land owners, although local families still share out pockets of land and the cork oaks on the land.
Once harvested the cork is packed onto lorries and transported to factory sites. Nothing happens for a while as the cork is rested up to 6 months. It is then that the process begins of changing the nature of the cork. It is first put into a large copper vat full of hot water and heated from below by a wood fire. The cork sits in the water for 1 hour and is then removed, rested and cooled for 2-3 weeks. Then begins the process of assessment. In the traditional factory this is done by hand. A man looks at each piece assesses its quality , cuts the cork by hand with a special knife and then it is removed and stacked ready for further processing into products. Traditionally cork was primarily used for wine bottle stoppers. There are numerous applications today, including the inside of baseballs, flooring, sealing gaskets for cars, handbags, purses, shoes and even dresses and umbrellas.
The cork route guided tour often finishes back in Sâo Bras do Alportel outside a shop that specialises in cork products. The owner of the Cortiça shop, Sandra Correia is the daughter of the modern mechanized cork factory in the town. She presented Madonna with a cork handbag on her visit to Portugal. She also sent President Obama a cork dog collar for his Portuguese waterdog. The shop has many innovative cork products including, boots and shoes
You can spend a whole day taking the tour or just a couple of hours, whichever you choose, the experience is very special.
For more information
A couple of years ago a few book enthusiasts organised an event for young people at the Library in Tavira. The idea was that children of different cultures would come together and share their favourite books and read in their own language from those books. Children practiced their reading aloud to an audience and each other and on the performance day they were very excited about being heard and being able to read their treasures. This last week in Tavira, there has been a celebration of reading and young people from many of the local schools have organised themselves with the help of their teachers and the Library to read and create waves of appreciation for the books they love.
As part of the week’s activities on the theme of the sea of books, children from many schools in Tavira came together for a “flash mob” reading event in the Praça da República. This was the initiative of the Library in Tavira and Associação para o Desenvolvimento Integral da Baixa de Tavira (UAC), along with the school librarians. A range of activities and workshops took place all week and Paula Ferreira the Director of the Library in Tavira said “This initiative, we hope, will encourage people, especially young people, to read more, to have more ideas and to share their thinking with others”.
This week also saw the launch of Granta’s Best of British young writers. Granta publishes the best of British young writers every 10 years. They have partnered with the British Council to launch the Best of Young British Novelists 4. In 2012 they launched the best of Brazilian young writers and the launch took place at Paraty International book festival in Brazil. Granta publishes 12 International editions. The Portuguese Granta published by tinta-da-china will be launched in May this year. The writers to be included in the Portuguese Granta are still a secret. So there is some excitement about who they are and where they could be in 10 years time.
The 2013 British Young writers edition has for the first time, a majority of women new writers. It is international list with the the writers’ backgrounds and storytelling interests that include China, Nigeria, Ghana, the US, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
New names that may be fresh to many include David Szalay, author of three novels; Taiye Selasi, whose first novel was published only last month; and Sunjeev Sahota, who according to John Freeman, the editor of Granta, “had never read a novel until he was 18 – until he bought Midnight’s Children at Heathrow. He studied maths, he works in marketing and finance; he lives in Leeds, completely out of the literary world”.
The full list is
Naomi Alderman (born 1974), author of books including The Liars’ Gospel and designer of computer games.
Tahmima Anam (1975), whose Bengal Trilogy charts Bangladeshi history from the war of independence onwards.
Ned Beauman (1985), who was longlisted for the Man Booker prize for The Teleportation Accident.
Jenni Fagan (1977), whose debut, The Panopticon, was published 2012. She is also a poet.
Adam Foulds (1974) won the Costa poetry prize for his poem about the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya. His novels include The Quickening Maze, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker.
Xiaolu Guo (1973) was shortlisted for the Orange prize for A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers.
Sarah Hall (1974) has won and been shortlisted for many awards for her novels, which include How To Paint a Dead Man.
Steven Hall (1975) has published one novel, The Raw Shark Texts, which won the Somerset Maugham award.
Joanna Kavenna (1973), whose books include Come to the Edge, won the Orange prize for new writing.
Benjamin Markovits (1973) turned from professional basketball playing to writing, including a trilogy on the life of Lord Byron.
Nadifa Mohamed (1981) was born in Somalia and won the Betty Trask award for her debut, Black Mamba Boy.
Helen Oyeyemi (1984) is the author of three novels including White is for Witching.
Ross Raisin (1979) is the author of God’s Own Country, shortlisted for the Guardian first book award, and Waterline.
Sunjeev Sahota (1981) is working on his second novel, The Year of the Runaways.
Taiye Selasi (1979) has just published her debut, Ghana Must Go.
Kamila Shamsie (1973) has written five novels; the most recent, Burnt Shadows, was shortlisted for the Orange prize.
Zadie Smith (1975) is the author of four novels. The latest is NW. She was on the Granta list in 2003.
David Szalay (1974) is the author of three novels: London and the South-east, The Innocent and Spring.
Adam Thirlwell (1974) has written two novels and was on the Granta list in 2003.
Evie Wyld (1980) publishes her second novel, All the Birds, Singing, in June.
Throughout 2013, Granta are collaborating on an international showcase of contemporary British novelists, which features the twenty writers from the 2013 list. Events will be taking place in more than ten countries including Russia, Qatar and India. Sadly Portugal is not on the list, but talking to Granta, there may be some interest in bringing new writers to the region. One of Granta’s former young writers is Jackie Kay. She was published in Granta 63 in 1998. She is coming to Tavira in September 2013 and will be reading from some of her more recent work. She is a fabulous performer so when you see the publicity make sure you do not miss her!
This week also saw the annual London Book Fair. One or two new books to look for in the next couple of years include a new biography of Paul McCartney by Phillip Norman. Red Notice by Bill Browder, which is a memoir of how he made billions in Russia and fell foul of the Kremlin. Virago will be publishing in 2016, Naomi Wolf book Outrages, which is an examination of the 1857 Obscene Publications Act – the first law to ban the sale of obscene materials. The historical novelist Bernard Cornwell has written “A history of Waterloo”. According to the Bookseller it will be published in time to mark the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s defeat in 2015. J P Bean has written “Singing from the floor”, which tells the story of the folk revival of the 1950s and 60s, “not an easy task”, says Jarvis Cocker, the publicist for Faber “especially when the events in question took place many years ago and may have involved the consumption of alcohol”. Singing from the Floor is due in April 2014.
Authors of the day during the fair included international bestselling writers William Boyd and Liz Pichon.
The next London book fair takes place in Earls Court 8-10 April 2014
A unique opportunity is available to work with the colourful, Maria João in Tavira on 25 and 26 May 2013. “She is the best contemporary Portuguese jazz singer” so says Tela Leão “and will be coming to help people explore jazz improvisation”. “16 people have already signed up and there are only 4 places left” .
Maria will be sharing her extensive knowledge and the tactics she uses to improvise. For the 6 hour workshop spread over two days (Sat /Sun) the cost is 50 Euros. Maria speaks English. As its improvisation the language used is less important. It is the sounds that will pull the workshop together.
The improvisation workshop is part of a wider artistic programme, happening between May to September. The programme consists of three productions, one featuring a well know artist (Maria João). The next event will be in July and it will be a classical guitar production using the music and life of Brazilian composer and musician,Villa Lobos. The last production in September, will be a visual and interactive dance spectacular using 3D mapping technology.
The Maria João workshop is taking place in partnership with CENAS
To book a place email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 962 728 904 or 912201345
Maria João with Bobby McFerrin – Improvisation session