Do not take us the food of the soul
This week I fulfilled the request of the Minister of Culture, Graça Fonseca, and went to cultural events to support the sector and, by the way, my right to be happy. Both, a film and a piano concert, took place very early, hours previously unthinkable on weekdays and in the same location, the Tivoli theater, in Lisbon, integrated in the Leffest 2020 – Lisbon & Sintra Film Festival.
I went because I like it, but also because I have different hours than the normal ones and I can still pay for tickets without feeling terrible because I wouldn’t have money to eat later. But a great majority of people will not be able to comply with the minister’s request, some due to lack of time, others due to lack of time and money, still others because they don’t even leave the house for fear of the virus and others because they get bored before the scenario of complying. the hygiene rules inside the cultural areas.
The minister speaks of supporting Culture as if it were easy. It is not, even for those who want to. With the curfew at 11 pm imposed by the government, some theaters in Lisbon announced that they were going to close until the end of the year, as was the case with Politeama, by Filipe La Féria. Others readjusted to a new reality like Maria Matos, with new schedules, including shows in the morning. With the rooms with half the seats available because of the break chairs and with morning or afternoon or evening hours but very early, the few events that take place are half gas.
At the Tivoli, the concert by the pianist Piotr Anderzewski, on the 17th, began at 16:00. All the staff, from checking the ticket at the main entrance to the one that led us to the place already in the room, passing by the film producer and festival organizer, Paulo Branco, greeted the audience with a natural “good night”. It was late afternoon but the old normal, of going to see shows at night, is still inside us. In addition to the public, with its presence, it is the government that has the sovereign duty of not letting culture die. With subsidies and disclosure of events, yes, but also with common sense when applying measures. Decreeing a mandatory curfew at 11 pm without making exceptions to a trip to the theater, cinema or a concert kills the sector. Downstream it also kills the restoration because the pleasures of the table are linked to the pleasures of the soul. And Culture is the food of the soul.
In a touching text by artist Nacho Pata, shared on Facebook by actor José Carlos Garcia, it reads: “What are street musicians, circus artists, clowns, puppeteers, storytellers, photographers, mimes, acrobats, singers for? dancers, cartoonists, producers and actors? Obviously, for nothing. Nothing practical and measurable. (We were unable to find a single machine or solve a bank credit problem). Our only function in this life is to touch people’s hearts and thoughts ”. This “unique” function is the most noble of all. Without artists, humanity cannot survive. Or even surviving, it becomes stale. Which would remove all meaning from the words “evolution” and “civilization”.
This article is available in: Português