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Culture and Crisis in Portugal

Venue: Birkbeck 43 Gordon Square

No booking required

No one seemed to be prepared for this. Ten years ago, progress was still taken for granted and a worse future looked as unthinkable as the need to go back to past forms of representation and activism. But then came austerity, a generalized attack on public services and the intervention of foreign financial institutions. Below the international context of economic disruption and neo-liberal orthodoxy, life itself was suddenly deteriorated with the collapse of familiar forms of sociability and political imaginary.

The event Culture and Crisis will bring together artists, activists, films, videos and other cultural forms that somehow tried to respond to austerity in Portugal and other southern European countries in the last decade. Through a series of debates and screenings, we will analyse both the ways in which cultural forms were able to come up with reliable accounts on contemporary events and evaluate society's ability to reinvent life and politics in challenging times.

Attendance is free. Book here:


1 June, Thursday

  • 2pm Notas de Campo, Catarina Botelho (Portugal, 2016), Malet Street, room B20
  • 3pm/5pm Round Table Activism and Crisis, Malet Street, room B20 with Guya Accornero (Political Scientist, CIES/IUL, Lisbon), Kostis Kornetis (Historian, Universidad Carlos III, Madrid), Ricardo Noronha (Historian, New University of Lisbon)
    Chair: Pedro Ramos Pinto, (Historian, University of Cambridge)
  • 7pm 9pm Round Table Culture and Austerity, Gordon Square, G01 with Catarina Botelho (photographer, filmmaker, Lisbon/Barcelona), Miguel Cardoso (poet, Lisbon), Marina Vishmidt (writer, editor and critic, Goldsmith, London), João Fazenda (illustrator)
    Chair: Luis Trindade (Historian, Birkbeck, London)

2 June, Friday

  • 12am/2pm Revolução Industrial, Tiago Hespanha and Frederico Lobo (Portugal, 2014), Birkbeck Cinema
  • 2pm/5pm Arabian Nights, vol. 1, Miguel Gomes (Portugal, 2015) , Birkbeck Cinema
  • 6pm/8pm Vida activa, Susana Nobre (Portugal, 2013), Gordon Square B04

3 June, Saturday

  • 10.30pm Arabian Nights, vol. 2, Miguel Gomes (Portugal, 2015), Birkbeck Cinema
  • 2pm Arabian Nights, vol. 3, Miguel Gomes (Portugal, 2015), Birkbeck Cinema
  • 5pm Final Debate The crisis isn't over yet. Chair: Patrícia BrÃs, (critic, Birkbeck, London), Dean Kenning (artist, critic, Kingston University & Central Saint Martins, London)

Sponsored by
Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image (BIMI)
Camões - Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua
Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CILAVS)