Melgaço, Culture, Art and Communication

On May 4 and 5, students from the Masters in Communication, Art and Culture, from the Masters in Sociology, and from the Doctoral program in Cultural Studies, participated in another edition of the “Spring School” this year, in Melgaço.

The program of work began at 10:00 am on Saturday, where participants could discover the beauty and freshness of the potholes of the Minho River. In this way, they were able to enjoy the direct and intimate contact with the history of Contrabando, which had greater force during the period of the dictatorship regimes of Portugal and Spain.

After a lunch marked by the conviviality and sharing, in the Center of Stages, the group went to know the nucleus of the town of Melgaço. When they climbed a slight granite ramp, they were all greeted by the bronze sculpture of one of the strong figures in local history, Inês Negra – a character associated with the Crisis of 1383-85 – placed at the entrance to the fortified village born in the twelfth century by the will of the first monarch, Afonso Henriques. Until the redoubt and its keep, a moment of enchantment was possible with the houses of medieval origin and of markedly romantic traces.

Between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., the visits to the Cinema Museum took place, where it was possible to understand the birth and development that led the cinema to take the proportions that we know today. Then, in a form almost discovered by the ancient arteries of the secular village, the students went to the Espaço Memória e Fronteira, where a skillful and unique way, a guided tour by Professor Albertino Gonçalves took place. One moment, that made the morning visit to the Minho River to gain all the meaning on the proper soul of a people and their knowledge in the face of the art of breaking borders and being artists of survival.

The evening was subordinated to the theme “Spaces – Between, across and beyond borders”, with the presence of Edmundo Cordeiro, Joana Gama and Fernando José Pereira. Each one presented his way of seeing and making art in a changing world, including the concept of frontier. We are the definite thing of a whole that does not fit, sometimes, into the knowledge or a single person.

The second day of the “Spring School” was exploration, overcoming, and dazzling. From Melgaço the students went to the historic village of Castro laboreiro. Here, where the houses, centered in its Roman-Gothic church, seem to sprout from the hard and pure granite, began the discovery of History by the cascades of the Laboreiro river to the oversized castle erected by the king-farmer, D. Dinis.

In the afternoon everyone is encouraged to discover the natural wealth of the Peneda-Gerês Natural Park in Lamas do Mouro. From the natural contact with the barrosan cattle and the famous dog of Castro Laboreiro, to the meeting in the auditorium of Portas de Lamas. The entire period from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. was an interpellation for a broader understanding of the mountain ecosystem.

To conclude the “Spring School” with a golden key, the participants returned to Melgaço, at Solar do Alvarinho, for a little Alvarinho de honor. Between tastings and toasts, several desires were aroused, especially that of a life with broad horizons and ever more tenuous frontiers.

[Posted: 31-05-2019 | Texto: Jorge de Faria Moreira]