Tuesday, 26.03.2013


Austerity? "ORA BOLAS!"
Notes from Lisbon’s cultural scene

Ana Bigotte Vieira, Sandra Lang


The words austerity and debt imply or signify a lack of something. These two words are part of the vocabulary used in mainstream media to describe the current economic situation in Portugal.

In an open discussion Sandra Lang and Ana Bigotte Vieira will talk about “ORA BOLAS. WE HAVE THE SPACE, SO LET’S USE IT!”, an initiative that took place in Lisbon at Galleria da Boavista, from the 23rd of November to the 29th of December 2012. Taking place in the midst of intense social struggles, the event began shortly after the November 14th European General Strike, a protest marked by police brutality and severe repression in Lisbon. Following two years of budget cuts in the arts funding (in 2012 “apoios pontuais” were 100% cut), this initiative overlapped with the re-opening of state funds for the arts; a reopening in a new, more competitive fashion. By criticizing the status quo (“Ora Bolas”) while at the same time emphasizing collective action and potency (“we have space, so lets use it”), “ORA BOLAS” ended up creating community and being an experiment on collective organization and resistance. Performances, concerts, and discussions were the response to the open call to use the gallery space. ORA BOLAS made visible the plenitude and excess of potential which characterizes the cultural scene in Lisbon today.

More Informations about current political struggels in Portugal:

Lisbon Calling: November 14th in Portugal
General Strike
Youths in Shorts and Flip-Flops Throwing Rocks at Cops: Update from Lisbon
Never Has a Winter Been So Long: On “Scenes from the Class Struggle in Portugal”
New Scenes from the Class Struggle in Portugal
Police brutality and tension among demonstraters marked general strike in Portugal

"Austerity? "ORA BOLAS!" Notes from Lisbon’s cultural scene" is organized by Sandra Lang within a series of lectures at Freie Uni Zürich.

Posted by Stefan Wagner