In the neighborhood of Penha de França, on one of the hills in Lisbon, a mural was painted to signal that it has been a year since the first declaration of the state of emergency in Portugal, motivated by the pandemic, on March 18th. since we locked ourselves in at home only to leave two months later. And a year since they asked us to be resilient.
In January 2021, at the start of a new detention, designer Sílvia Matias wanted to build something to mark the anniversary and found the word she had heard so often, “in the government’s plans, on the news, on the news,” said she remembers in a pause between paintings on the Avenida General Roçados.
He drew it in bold white letters on a black background with “straight lines and raw shapes without embellishments”. This was his first mural, as he describes in a statement to the editor. “Resilience is a tough year for everyone, but so is the ability to overcome a difficult situation,” he explains. Sílvia particularly emphasizes the impact of the pandemic on the cultural sector. “People talk about it all the time, but nothing is done. This mural is almost a manifesto for the cultural situation in Portugal. “He realizes that it’s not design that will save the world, but it can have“ very positive ”effects.
The 31-year-old wanted “the mural to be very easy to read”: “It’s not an artistic mural, it doesn’t have this presumption. It’s a social and community project for people, ”she says. A little help was formed by residents and workers in Penha de França who asked what was happening or, at some distance, without ever approaching, placed bets on what word would come out. It would have something to do with the pandemic.
The mural was designed by Sílvia Matias and the production was in charge of Ghost Creative Productions, a cultural production company founded in summer 2020. Both Sílvia and Luís Alcatrão and Tiago Silva, founders of the Ghost collective, highlight the lack of government support for the culture and how much resilience is needed from professionals in the industry. “I think that artists, producers and technicians reinvent themselves the most. I am often surprised by the creativity they show us in the most adverse situations, “says Luís.” The culture has not been in a crisis for a year. Culture never stopped being in crisis. “
In the Ghost collective, Tiago and Luís do “a little bit of everything”, depending on requests for help from artists from different fields. They carry out the invisible work of implementing artistic projects. “The support we give isn’t just for production, but sometimes also emotional. We feel like artists are starting to give up, it’s not easy. It was really a year of resilience, ”says Tiago. Luís Alcatrão, on the other hand, is hoping for a boom after a difficult time: It will be the “crazy 20s” for culture.