31st Encontros da Imagem – International Photography and Visual Arts Festival, 2021

The Cave Photography associates again with Umbigo to suggest a visit to the 31st Encontros da Imagem – International Photography and Visual Arts Festival, 2021.

We recommend ten authors with exhibitions until 31 October, divided between Braga and Porto.

Genesis 2:1 was the theme chosen for the 31st edition of Encontros da Imagem – Photography and Visual Arts International Festival.2021, between September 17 and October 31 this year. Among many activities, the Festival encompasses 47 exhibitions distributed among 25 different venues, with the participation of 64 photographers.

Genesis 2:1 extends last year’s theme, and never has a chosen topic fit so well with the present day.

A year later, we and everyone else are back – a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic again imposing a widespread lockdown.

There was confusion and chaos. A collective inability to comprehend the turmoil, whilst humanity attempted to address the increasingly complex and demanding challenges.

Contemporary society has long been facing huge global challenges: from issues related to the planet and its ecological problems – biodiversity loss, climate change, warming and contamination – to the civilizations that inhabit it, where many generate new inequalities and moral indifference – political and religious regimes, borders, refugees, racism, gender issues and many others.

What we call progress has not only ceased to coincide with the humanization of the world but may even end up dictating its end. It is urgent to find solutions to end inequality and indifference to the suffering of millions of people.

A question arises: what future will we have?  The current crisis is an opportunity for us to find common ground and discuss the best solutions.

Also as a warning, many of the exhibitions of the Encontros da Imagem festival, beyond their aesthetic side, address pertinent issues of the contemporary world.


Anabela Pinto, “Precious Things”

Baudrillard writes how the system of objects is the manifestation of satisfaction and disillusionment; the way we find in everyday objects the ambition that they replace human relationships. By appearing capable of solving a simple practical issue, subconsciously they attempt to resolve a social or psychological conflict.

Precious Things is an observation of the cult of technology as an extension of the human psyche, where consumer objects seem to channel, reflect and feed off the user’s emotions.

The Cave Photography, Rua 31 de Janeiro 174, Wednesday to Saturday: 4 pm – 7 pm.

Ariadna Silva Fernández, “Cartografia do Esquecimento”

A Cartografia do esquecimento (Cartografía do esquecemento) proposes a reflection on the cultural consequences of the loss of the Galician native forest. The destruction of the Atlantic Forest is the result of several political, social, economic and ecological issues, affecting biodiversity, memory and collective identity of much of Galicia (Spain).

Mosteiro de Tibães, Braga, Tuesday to Sunday and Holidays: 10 am – 6 pm.

Bruce Gilden, “Syracuse”, USA. Syracuse, NY. 1981.

“(…) I walked around Syracuse and, after a few days of exploring, found a busy nook downtown. At the corner of S. Salina Street and East Fayette, I quickly discovered that Syracuse had more mentally ill people per square foot than any other place I had visited before. Suddenly, I found there an enormous opportunity to do interesting work. Every afternoon, these men and women would leave their jobs and gather at the bus stop with their lunch boxes in hand, waiting for the bus that would take them back to their homes.”

Theatro Circo, Av. da Liberdade 697, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 2.30 pm – 6.30 pm.

Cristiano Volk, “Laissez-faire”

Imagine a life lived under the glare of an artificial light, where reality is not experienced directly but only through screens. Imagine a world so densely connected, where all the distinctions through which we have learned to make sense of time and place – interior and exterior, private and public, day and night – have collapsed into a single hallucination in neon hues.

Galeria do Paço da UMinho, Monday to Saturday: 10 am – 6 pm.

Donna Ferrato, “Holy”

Holy is a compilation of my photographs about women’s wisdom and courage, about people who identify with the female gender, and those who don’t identify with any gender.

These incredible people have inspired me for half a century. I have witnessed their journey and the steps they had to take to survive male violence, always feeling amazed at how they achieved the impossible to regain their dignity. Even without help from society, women are the righteous winners as they stand for love over hate.

Casa dos Crivos, Rua de São Marcos 37, Tuesday to Friday: 10 am – 1 pm and 3 pm – 6.30 pm, Saturday and Sunday: 3 pm – 6.30 pm, Monday: Closed.

Kai Yokoyama, “The day you were born, I wasn’t”

When this pandemic started in 2020, I lost control, just like the rest of the world. And I thought about the miracle of being here. The fact that I was born, something we normally take for granted, was also the consequence of several miracles. I went to my mother’s house. It was my home. I looked for old photos of my family. I walked around where my deceased grandparents lived and took pictures. I tried to connect the present with the past. It was like moving through time and space, like returning to the place where my soul had once been.

Galeria do Paço da UMinho, Monday to Saturday: 10 am – 6 pm.

Lara Jacinto, “Dentro e fora”

About how plants look for water.

What things there will be to photograph in a life inside. The landscapes of the spirit and thought – due to the vitality with which they register themselves in the small daily life gestures – cannot only be an enormous twilight nature preceded by night. We are all curious to know how outer nature extends its territory into the vastness that each Man senses within himself.

Museu D. Diogo de Sousa, Rua dos Bombeiros Voluntários s/n, 4700-025, Braga, Tuesday to Sunday: 10.30 am – 5.30 pm.

Manolo Espaliú, “Welcome to the Paradise”

In recent years, dozens of new urban centres have been built in Iran, complying with the Maskan-e Mehr social housing project: a total of 17 new cities and about 1.5 million housing units, whose main objective is to reverse migration to larger cities where living standards are worsening due to traffic, pollution and high housing prices. These communities have been built in arid, almost desert-like environments, as in Pardis (“paradise” in Persian, half an hour northeast of Tehran), often with little regard for the ecological conditions of the land.

Galeria do Paço da UMinho, Monday to Saturday: 10 am – 6 pm.

Patrícia Barbosa, “Prova”

After several years of research, the author presents her documentary photographs, historical archives, reenactments, old photographs and several objects. Prova is a large collection with which she deconstructs a period of Portugal’s recent history, while revealing her own family history.

Galeria Encontros da Imagem Estação, Largo do Paço s/n, Tuesday to Saturday: 2 pm – 6 pm.

Silvia Rosi, “Encounter”, 2016

Silvia Rosi’s work explores her personal family history based on her Togolese heritage and the concept of origins. The theme of family is discovered through self-portraits, where the artist interprets her mother and father, partly based on West African studio portraiture.

Her mother and father play a decisive role in her work, as well as their migratory experiences from Togo in West Africa to Italy. Rosi recreates her parents’ struggle, placing herself as both observer and participant. Her photos are everyday and complex, based on portraits Rosi found in an old family album.

Museu Nogueira da Silva, Av. Central 61, Tuesday to Friday: 10 am – 12 pm and 2 pm – 6.30 pm, Saturday: 2 pm – 6.30 pm.

Silvy Crespo, “The Land of Elephants”

This is a story about exploration and resistance in the land of white gold and it starts with the mountains. Some say that, under the grey rocks of the Barroso mountains, a precious silver-white metal is hidden.

Edifício do Castelo, Rua do Castelo s/n, Monday: 2.30 pm – 5.30 pm, Tuesday and Saturday: 2.30 pm – 6.30 pm.

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