Poster – much better than Instagram

The 3rd edition of Poster Mostra happens From September 29 to October 29, once again in Marvila. Before that, Umbigo accomplished something we wanted to do since the first edition: follow one of the Mini Poster workshops with children and young people of social institutions, perceiving, in loco, how art transforms distrust into smiles.

According to Bruno Pereira, the man in charge of Poster, that’s where we can spot the great differences in the kids, from workshop to workshop: instead of raising eyebrows, there is an increasingly wider smile, followed by curiosity and excitement. These initiatives extend themselves beyond Poster and are carried out throughout the year by Departmento, the “culture amplifier” responsible for this and other free-access artistic events. 90% of the projects developed here are shared with institutionalized children. For example, the association Obra do Ardina has been present over these four years and strong bonds of friendship have been nurtured. To attest this, we just need to look at Bruno Pereira’s facial expression whenever he looks at one of the kids who always lived in this institution, affirming that he almost has a father-son relationship with him. “The power of art and communication awakens in you many good things and these are like seeds and flowers, they have to be sown to grow. And that’s the way to go. It doesn’t mean that they are going to be illustrators or photographers, but at least they acquire tools as human beings, as a proper expression of their own selves. The more things you release, the emptier you get inside, hence the freer. But, at the same time, you sow more outside of you. Art is liberation, it is understanding”. says Bruno.

Under the scope of Poster, the 1st workshop was held by the illustrator David Rosado and the 2nd by the street artist Kruella D’Enfer. Given the nature of each person’s work, both workshops focused on drawing and painting techniques. This year, the idea was to explore a new technique that would allow producing more than just one final piece. In other words, while respecting the concept behind a poster, to get something that could be easily and serially reproduced. This was the challenge thrown at Stolen Books, from the designer Luís Alegre, and Lord Mantraste, illustrator, graphic designer and one of the guests of this year’s Poster edition. “We thought it would be interesting to do this workshop with the Risograph technology. It is a screen print technology, which is to say serial image reproduction, but found in this midline spot, between screen printing itself and the off-set. Having the advantage of being less complicated, with fewer intricacies than screen printing, and without the industrialization of the traditional off-set”, Luís Alegre says.

And how does Risograph work? It’s like a copier that scans the original image (a drawing, a photograph, collages, etc.) and allows one to print it with a single colour or with a multicoloured overlay – just like serigraph paintings, a new layer of colour can be added to each print.

In this case, the original image was a self-portrait of each participant, built through the cutout of black cards. “We thought they could think a bit about self-representation. They are not asked to be realistic, but to choose some fundamental features of their physiognomy and make them stand out. We used cut-and-paste techniques with black cardboard to create a graphical uniformity. Asking each one to draw with a pencil would be different. That way we will put those who draw better and those are not so good on an even keel” Luís Alegre says. The children were probably not aware of this process, but the most important thing is that they made use of it to produce works that surprised everyone due to their plasticity and creativity – to the point that Luís Alegre and Bruno Pereira, enthusiastic about the final result, thought about doing a small book edition with these works.

The kids showed their smile when their self-portrait came out of the machine with the chosen colour, or when it was juxtaposed with some other kid’s self-portrait, thus creating a third “person” who did not exist – someone’s eyes filled the empty spots left by another, the hair of one child was added to the portrait of a short hair kid. They ended up with 10 posters to either stick on the bedroom wall, store or gif their friends with.

All these works will be exhibited in Poster’s 3rd edition, along with the “grown-ups”. This year, Bruno Pereira says he was especially surprised by the quantity and quality of what was submitted to the Open Call. There were people from all over the world – Romanians, Brazilians, Germans, Portuguese – and with all kinds of training, including artists who have already exhibited at galleries. 5 works are usually chosen, but this year the number was so high that they became 10. Nonetheless, Bruno says it was difficult to choose. He applied the criterion of showing the greatest possible diversity of techniques and styles to make the exhibition even more interesting. For the first time ever, they will also present all the works that have been submitted. There will be 100 posters to “display all the talent that is not on the walls, but that will be on the floor of the Todos studio.”

Diversity is another topic of this year’s edition. The goal is to have an increasing number of people from areas whose language is not visual, like writing or music. This year, among others, we will see the works of Nuno Miguel Guedes, journalist, Paula Cortes, poet, and the musicians Dead Combo. The goal, regardless of the background of any artist, remains the same. “When you make a poster, you have to tendency to protest, to claim anything. And that’s cool, because you’re putting stuff out there. Nowadays, when there is so much information, this straightforward format is still alive after 2 centuries, having an outstanding impact and performance. You do something and then you glue it on a specific site that you can choose, there is no predefined platform like on social networks. Contrary to an Instagram post [that disappears quickly from your feed], if you see a poster on the street you can stop and enjoy it”, Bruno Pereira concludes.

For a whole month, in the walls of Marvila and in the cultural space Todos, you can see the works of 20 national and international guests, 10 winners of the Open Call, the children of Associação Sol and Obra do Ardina under the banner of the Mini Poster workshop, and also all the Open Call participants.


For more information on the activities of the event, check


Invited: Adriano Miranda (photojournalist) Dead Combo (musicians) C.W.Moss (illustrator) André Ruivo (illustrator and director) Diogo Aguiar Studio (architecture studio) Filippo Fiumani (designer and visual artist) Lord Mantraste (illustrator and graphic designer) Nuno Miguel Guedes (journalist) Paula Cortes (poet) Olivier Kenneybrew aka Polar (visual artist) Rita Braz (artistic director and photographer) Rukkit (graphic designer and street artist) Silva Designers (design studio), Surma (music), This is Pacífica (design studio), Vera Marmelo (photographer) Tomaz Hipólito (architect and performance artist), Valter Vinagre (photographer), Gonçalo Mar (street artist), Alfredo Keil (painter)

Winners of the Open Call Poster: Carolina Baptista, Elsa Rodrigues, Giotto, Lucian Lupu, Marcel Kreuzer, Mário Cameira, Miguel Muralha, Mónica Sousa, Samuel Matzig e Tháshya Barbosa

Collaborator of the Umbigo since 2000 and… The relationship has survived several absences and delays. She graduated in Fashion Design, but the images only make her sense if they are sewn with words. She does production so as not to rustle the facet of control freak, dance as a form of breathing and watch horror movies to never lose sight of their demons. Whenever you ask for a biography, say a few profanities and then remember this poem of Al Berto, without ever being sure if you really put it into practice or if it is an eternal purpose of life: "But I like the night and the laughter of ashes, I like the desert, and the chance of life, I like the mistakes, the luck and the unexpected encounters. Almost always on the sacred side of my heart, or where fear has the precariousness of another body"

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