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Transdisciplinary performance developed and presented at DES/ORIENTE (Porto, Portugal).

Curating: Laís França and Rachel Merlino

"From the sound of fountain water to the tolling of inert bells, with each step, Inês leads us through a landscape that crosses past, present, and future through her eyes. An imagery that translates her childhood memories, while proposing the rescue of a place that remained visually crystallized while experiencing it emptying. This atmosphere captures a collective reflection on the experiences and places of affection of each spectator-walker, questioning how each of us "contributes to the affective construction of a place, and, in return, how places shape our own essence". The activation occurs through a performance-route based on an audio guide that culminates in a dance that manifests the multiple layers of a changing space."

Text: Laís França and Rachel Merlino

          Foucault defined heterotopia as a manifestation of imaginary places in society. These places develop in isolated spaces that allow the construction of imaginaries, ethical/moral values, and alternative behaviors that exist simultaneously inside and outside the social space.

Having lived abroad for 5 years, after returning to my origins, I sought refuge in the places of my childhood that prevailed in time, but I was confronted with several changes in the territory and its usage. One of these places was the Fontanário da Presa de Contumil.

The Fontanário da Presa de Contumil is a place that remains physically unchanged, but whose affective and narrative identity is constantly changing, alternating between a place of conviviality, a place of conflict, a place of passage, or a place of resistance. Over the years, between presences and absences, this place has been transformed into different heterotopias defined by those who walked its streets.

Surrounded by agricultural land, in my childhood days, Presa de Contumil was a social space where children played and adults washed their clothes. With its deterioration and the urbanization of the adjacent land, the spirit of enjoyment and coexistence that was characteristic of it was lost. With the aging of its population, the Fountain was no longer so actively frequented. During the years that followed, it was stigmatized as a place of danger, "the spot where the Areosa thugs stop". Years later, with the metro works and the expansion of the city, the surrounding area became exponentially more inhabited, but the Fontanário block became deteriorated and desertified. Connecting in a straight line the residential area perched on the hill to the metro stop, this place has become a space of passage, a liminal place, a quasi-non-place, for everyone except those who still live there.

From a personal and intimate point of view, I developed a multimedia performance that communicates the story of the Fountanário da Presa de Contumil. Guided by an audio-guide that tells the imaginary of the childhood places I shared with my grandfather, the audience is taken from my kindergarten to the Fontanário da Presa de Contumil. At the Fontanário, I made a performance in which, through a reinterpretation of the traditional Portuguese dance "Vira", I distributed testimonies about Presa de Contumil, shared by its neighbors. After the performance, the audience is invited to leave their testimonies as well - real or imagined - about the Fontanário da Presa de Contumil.

Opening space for the creation and sharing of a collective imaginary, the objective of this project was to praise and re-signify the Fountain of Presa de Contumil though my affective memories, in favor of the construction of a common heterotopia that belongs to those who live there as much as to those who pass by.

A big thank you to
everyone who helped me (directly or indirectly):

Granpa Quim
Granma Lina

Maria Josefina