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An arts festival with democracy in the background

Published at — 11 June 2024

An arts festival with democracy in the background

From the 14th to the 16th of June the first edition of the New Deal of Arts and Democracy will take place, a festival with music, theater and cinema, which aims to address the role of the arts in the construction of a free, participatory and inclusive Europe, with the participation of artists, creators, thinkers and the public.

The initiative, organized within the scope of Aveiro 2024 – Portuguese Capital of Culture, is curated by Bosnian Haris Pašović – one of the most acclaimed theater directors in Eastern Europe and who worked with Susan Sontag during the Bosnian War – and Teatro Aveirense. With a strong international component, New Deal of Arts and Democracy analyzes the cultural consciousness of Europeans and what it means to think and act politically today, highlighting the role of the cultural sector in these dynamics.

On the first day of the initiative, June 14th, at 9:30 pm, there will be a performance by Anthony Joseph. One of the most notable authors today, with a work that spans music and literature, presents himself in Aveiro with a concert between jazz, spoken word, funk, calypso and other sound geographies, always with a political and social aspect very present .

Another highlight is the play “The World of Possibilities”, by Haris Pašović, co-produced by four institutions from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia to address the lives (and inclusion) of people with disabilities, their families and their therapists. A reflection on democracy from an unexpected angle, interrogating the scope of civic participation. The presentation is scheduled for June 15th, at 9:30 pm.

On June 16th, the show “A Noite”, by José Saramago, will take to the stage at 9:30 pm, by the Grupo de Teatro de Jornalistas do Norte. The original text takes place in a newspaper office in the early hours of April 25th. In this version, directed by Jorge Louraço Figueira and Leonor Wellenkamp Carretas, the very survival of journalism is questioned, bringing to the present day the questions raised in 1979 by José Saramago.

The New Deal of Arts and Democracy will also feature several moments of conversation, at Teatro Aveirense, the first of which will be on the 15th, at 6pm, where Haris Pašović joins Kathrin Deventer (General Secretary of the European Festivals Association), Amber Massie Blomfield (producer, consultant and author of the book “Acts of Resistance – The Power of Art to Create a Better World”) and José Pina (Coordinator of Aveiro 2024 – Portuguese Capital of Culture and director of Teatro Aveirense) for a discussion on the role of art in building a democratic society. On Sunday the 16th, actress and director Sara Barros Leitão, director Jorge Louraço Figueira and Jorge Andrade, director of the company Mala Voadora, come together to talk about freedom and its challenges today. A meeting that will be moderated by journalist Aline Flor.

Among the other activities of the New Deal of Arts and Democracy is the premiere of the film “Take5* Brussels”, the first in a series centered on meetings between 5 artists and 2 guests who meet for the first time to talk about Europe , festivals, the arts and their role in society. An exchange of opinions recorded in different cities by director Stefan Arsenijevic. The session will take place on June 15th, at 4pm, in the VIC // Aveiro Arts House auditorium, formerly a clandestine cinema where films banned by censorship were shown.