500 years ago, the Portuguese navigator and explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral died in Santarém, being buried in the Church of Santa Maria da Graça, a national monument since 1910 and one of the most important examples of Gothic art in Portugal. Almost three centuries later, 198 years ago, there was the Independence of Brazil.
It is from these two historical moments that the municipality of Santarém promotes “Por Terras de Cabral”, from 8 to 11 October, an online dialogue between Portugal and Brazil, two different but sister countries, which share a unique heritage, made of language, history, music, humor, literature or gastronomy.
Inviting 8 prominent figures of Culture from both sides of the Atlantic to a cycle of conversations, exchange of ideas and mutual discoveries, in a meeting in the middle of the bridge, which lasts for five centuries, Santarém blurs borders, over 4 nights, always at 22H00, in conversations that can be followed here.
On October 8, it is up to the writer, philosopher and essayist Onésimo Teotónio Almeida and the musician and former Minister of Culture of Brazil, Gilberto Gil, to inaugurate this cycle of conversations, in moderation by, also, writer Valter Hugo Mãe, after a showcase by the Brazilian musician Ivan Lins, at 21H30.
In the two days that follow, it is the turn of 4 artists to lead the conversations to the territories of inexhaustible creativity and the increasingly frequent collaborations between musicians from both countries: António Zambujo and Tim Bernardes, on October 9, in moderation of journalist João Gobern, and on October 10, Pedro Abrunhosa and Tom Zé, moderated by journalist Carlos Vaz Marques.
The closing, on October 11, will be in charge of comedians Bruno Nogueira, Mariana Cabral (Bumba na Fofinha) and Gregório Duvivier, with the journalist and writer Inês Fonseca Santos moderating, in a conversation in which a reading of the role of humor will be made in the relationship between Brazil and Portugal.
At a time as delicate as the one we are experiencing with the Covid-19 pandemic, it is imperative to focus on the cultural, historical and collective memory of these two sister countries. Far from political and nationalist perspectives, the two countries discover each other throughout history and culture, a sap that nourishes identity and persists in surviving against all adversities.
It is in Santarém, a city with more than a thousand years of history, on the banks of the Tagus River, that the Casa do Brasil/Casa de Pedro Álvares Cabral is located, the floor of two homelands and manor house that housed the first European to visit Brazil, since his return from the Orient (1501) until his death (1520).
Right next door, in one of the most emblematic monuments of the city, the Igreja da Graça, rests his mortal remains and in front of this, a statue by the sculptor Domingos Soares Branco pays homage to the Portuguese who was married to one of the richest women in Portugal, D. Isabel de Castro.
Pedro Álvares Cabral occupies a significant place in Universal History. The fact that he was the first European to visit Brazil on April 22, 1500, assures him of the right role he has, but the meaning of his figure is much more important since he was the first man to have traveled and known the four corners of the world.
The relations between Portugal and Brazil are unique and are going through a promising moment, both from a political, economic, social and cultural point of view. At the cultural level, the growing flow of visual artists, filmmakers, writers, musicians and actors, on both sides of the Atlantic, has contributed to the updating and modernization of the reciprocal image of the two cultures and societies.