Lisbon in Us

Lisbon in Us by Cláudia Andrade

June 9, 2021 getLISBON 0Comment
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Today we have the first-person story of an actress, theatre director, Community Theatre professor in the master’s degree at Lisbon Theatre and Film School… In Lisbon in Us by Cláudia Andrade, this active citizen tells us about how her affective relationship with the city where she was born was built.

Perhaps my relationship with Lisbon began with my birth in this city. Or maybe not. And I think about this because I remember that famous quote by Simone de Beauvoir: “one is not born a woman, one becomes a woman”. And I think that, in a way, the same happens with my relationship with this city and that maybe I only became a lisboeta (person of Lisbon) when I returned to Lisbon, 10 years later.

Lisbon means a place that defines me, that somehow marks my identity bonds and is associated with a substantial part of the stories that represent who I am. It was also the place I chose as the cradle for my children.

When I go through its topography, it is marked by memories, encounters and theatrical creations. The desire to dialogue intimately with my city – with its uses, habits and residents – has progressively transformed it into a scenic laboratory, serving as a backdrop and dramaturgical raw material for various performance projects.For instance, this happened in a courtyard in São Bento, where I exorcised a moment of profound social apnea in which we were immersed (in 2013, at the festival TODOS/Artistas à procura de um Abrigo) or saw a school invaded by brides and grooms transformed in a sumptuous and multicultural Copo d’Água (wedding party).

Another example was in a centenarian shop of downtown Lisbon (that still persists in the midst of a big majority that has already disappeared) in 2016 that served as a backdrop for the play Teatro das Compras. Or when telling the stories of Mil e Uma Noites, Bodas and Ritual Almenara in São Jorge Castle. Or when we occupied the Gulbenkian gardens with a group of jester scientists (in 2009 at European Researchers Night).

Or, in one of my most exciting experiences, when we transformed the house of Lurdes, Piedade, Alice, David, Ju and Cidália into memorable performative spaces (with the companions of Companhia Limitada 1 in 2013). And in 2019 when a group of unforgettable women and girls and I took over the Graça viewpoint and paraded slowly and silently along tram tracks, streets and sidewalks (Festival TODOS/ Mas para onde caminham Elas?).

All these experiences made Lisbon’s territory no longer just a geographic territory, but above all a fertile human landscape, abundant in narratives and poetics that allowed the development of what I call affective territoriality.

Lisbon in Us by Cláudia Andrade
Mini introductionCláudia Andrade is an actress, creator, pedagogue and community artist. She was born in 1979, studied in Barcelona and in Buenos Aires and is the author of the book “Coro: Corpo Colectivo e Espaço Poético – Intersecções entre o Teatro Grego Antigo e o Teatro Comunitário”.
An inspiring placeMonsanto with its thousand magic trails
An unmissable visitto Lisbon’s Flea Market, taking a break at Clara Clara Café Terrace in Botto Machado Garden with some coffee and a view to the Tagus river
Her mouth waters with…The delicacies of Estrela da Bica Restaurant
A song…Acordai by Fernando Lopes Graça
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