How far can we go, how close can we get?
A note from the artistic directors
We like to think of the Alkantara Festival as a place of gathering. A place of performances and parties, yes, and also of conversations that lead to more conversations. A place where we sit close to others, and with other ideas. Where we are sometimes charmed, or unsettled, or find that our thinking or our doing has moved away from a certainty we once held.
Sometimes, a performance strikes a chord with us. I’ve been there. Hormones. Antigone. Feijoada. We want other people to see these performances because we think they might experience the same thrill — or chill — of recognition.
How close can we get?
Then there are shows that are thrilling for exactly the opposite reason. I have never been there. The Amazon. Abidjan. Inside a Black actor’s experience of racism in Portugal. And how thrilling — and yes, also chilling — to feel or learn something new, outside of our own experience.
How far can we go?
Because we each have our own collection of thrills and chills, what one person identifies with, another holds at the distance of curiosity. We can get as close and go as far as our own experiences and stories allow. We hope, then, to be a festival that gathers experiences, many experiences. In this place that will be close to some and far to others, accepting that some things remain distant or unknowable is the beginning of an interesting conversation, not the end.
It is in place of tension and complexity that we want to be, at the limits of how far we can go and how close we can get.
We look forward to seeing you at the Alkantara Festival, from November 10 to 26.
Carla Nobre Sousa & David Cabecinha