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Cenas e vistas d’a Brasileira

Helena Pires, Fábio Marques & Sofia Gomes

2020 | CECS


As with other historic coffees, A Brasileira is recognized as part of the heritage trade in Braga. This classification is already expressive of the elevation of the status of cafes with greater longevity, which, in some way, function as a barometer, allowing to measure cultural and social transformations, as well as the idiosyncrasies of the cities in which they operate.

The present publication arises from the desire to highlight the different ways in which A Brasileira users take coffee in their daily lives, transforming it into a simultaneously personal place, which each one inscribes in their routines, in their scheduled or fortuitous meetings with friends and acquaintances, in their memories and life stories, but also in an impersonal place, not in the sense of the experience of indifference, but of the expansion of the experience that encompasses ways of being-with and being-with, or remembering-with, of the possibility, in short, of each one feeling part of what he observes, of what resonates in him, stretched out over ambiences, objects, conversations, views, beyond his strictly subjective sphere.

This book comes after more than a year of immersion in the daily life of coffee, with notes taken in the field, interviews with more or less frequent visitors, as well as with some of its collaborators, and not forgetting some of the informal conversations that came together. to this puzzle of multiple visions and memories, shared here (Halbwachs, 1992; Candau, 2013). Framed in the A Passeio project, we sought with this work to contribute to the enhancement of the sense of community and belonging that, in times of increasing speed, as well as progressive de-characterization and “nudification” of urban space (Zukin, 2009), it is urgent to rescue. From the portraits of the daily life in A Brasileira, pictures of life in the city are drawn, composed of details that escape the news, insignificances that are hardly noticeable in the most panoramic views, very little nothing that both foresee changes and unexpected resistances, expressions of different cultures and identities, often cohabiting asynchronously. Today, Brasileira, and like so many other historic cafés, is a crossing point between physical and virtual space, local and global, personal and impersonal, actuality and memory. It is also an identity place. The singularity of its history, its particular architectural configuration, and, above all, the unique way in which, in different ways, each subject surrounds the micro-universe of the sighted city, contribute from the glass doors or the terrace, contribute to this. its transformations, the crowds and the continuous frenzy, but also the slowness of everyday life. Or even the unique way in which each subject participates in the social performativity (Goffmann, 1963; 1971; 1993) which, there, in the form of a ritualistic staging, unfolds, thus interweaving its own identity.