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Project ARTHE organizes Crossed Archives international conference

sharing experiences of identification and treatment of performing arts archives


‘Crossed Archives’ was the title of the first international conference organized in the framework of project ARTHE – Arquivar o Teatro (‘to archive the theatre’), led by CET – Centro de Estudos de Teatro (Centre for Theater Studies) and of which IHC / IN2PAST is a partner. The meeting took place this week, at Teatro Nacional de São João, Porto, on December 11 and 12th, 2023.

Bringing together researchers and artists, from Chile to Brazil, from Italy to the United Kingdom, one of the main goals of the Conferência Internacional Arquivos Cruzados was to open a space for discussion about the circumstances of archiving as a practice, highlighting its fundamental role in the preservation and understanding of the performing arts.

Ana Bigotte Vieira, IHC / IN2PAST researcher and co-principal investigator of project ARTHE, was one of the moderators, as were Hélia Marçal and Paula Caspão, also affiliated with IHC. CESEM researcher Filipa Magalhães presented a communication titled ‘Archiving and reactivating Portuguese music theater’.

Starting from the analysis of two archives donated to CET / Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa – the archives of Teatro da Cornucópia, an essential company in the aesthetic and political renewal of theatre after the revolution of April 25th, 1974, and those of Mário Barradas, the main promoter of theatrical decentralization –, ARTHE – Archiving the Theatre aims to identify, map and study the state of theatre archives in Portugal, in order to establish a good practice plan involving a network of institutions. The project is funded by the Portuguese Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (PTDC/ART-PER/1651/2021) and headed by CET researcher Maria João Brilhante.

Plays by Teatro da Cornucópia: ‘The Misanthrope’ or ‘The Cantankerous Lover’, by Molière, 1973 © Paulo Cintra. ‘Woyzeck’, by Georg Büchner, 1978 © Cristina Reis. Anton Checkov’s ‘The Seagull’, 2006 © Paulo Cintra. ‘4 AD HOC’, by Eugène Labiche, 2013 © Luís Santos