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Rediscovering Porto Alegre
I feel infinite pain
From the streets of Porto Alegre
Where I will never go…
After nearly two years at home and interacting through screens, we slowly returned to the streets. In the year that Porto Alegre Em Cena, a naturally agglomerating festival, completes 28 editions (would the Return of Saturn appear on the Festival's Astral Map?), its curatorial project presents a profile that has been changing in recent years, but which now in fact reveals a new proposal: Em Cena does not give up the beloved Italian stage and the stage box, but expands to the screens, galleries, building walls, streets and all spaces that open their doors (and windows) to receive it. The crossing of artistic languages, the approximation with the visual arts, walking arm in arm with proposals that align above all with the art that is being produced today.
We went back to the city, but did we recognize this place where we live? With each outing for face-to-face work, a meeting with someone, any appointment, we look at places that were once so familiar and find them strange: that restaurant that closed, that cafe that had to adapt and put tables on the street, the challenge of finding a new face-to-face workspace that can accommodate a team and is sanitary safe. It's a very different city from the one we left behind when, in March 2020, we walked home thinking that in a few weeks we would be back. What city is this? Did we really know Porto Alegre, even before the pandemic?
With the theme “There is a city about us” and questions about memory, ancestry, belonging and the city itself, Em Cena returns, in the way it thought possible, to the presence. We had the idea of unfolding the theme and our own relationship with the city through an Affective Guide of Porto Alegre. The cutout: the memories, the affections, our connections with the physical space that we've been missing so much in all these months when our house became the whole world. And since affection guides this script, we encourage you readers to follow an incredible group of friends from the festival who created this Guide with us: there are tips, testimonials, special content to inspire each person who accesses this material to look at Porto Alegre with new eyes and, who knows, venture to discover a new, hitherto unknown corner to call your own.
Despite all the hardships we encounter these days, this Affective Guide is an attempt to bring, along with all the festival's activities, a breather and a breath. May affection and memory, alongside Art, be fuel for us to move forward.
We hope you like it, and that this guide inspires you to venture through the city's streets.