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Woundscapes. Suffering, Creativity and Bare Life

Curadoria / Curated by: Chiara Pussetti & Vitor Barros

This exhibition, financed by the Science and Technology Foundation (FCT), is the product of a collaboration between anthropologists working at the Network Centre for Research in Anthropology (CRIA) and artists from different countries who currently reside in the Greater Lisbon area, and whose work is inspired by the reproduction of gazes, stereotypes and individual memories connected to migratory processes. The works presented here, intend to set out the different forms of understanding, expressing and dealing with suffering, examining individual and collective courses of the meaning of pain, cure strategies in the wider therapeutic and care market of Greater Lisbon, and different forms and tactics of legitimization, resistance or reconceptualization of the social position itself.
These itineraries become ways of living the city, composing forms of creative appropriation of space, of tension with the new geographies of curing and suffering, of innovating re-creation of old urban maps. The Woundscapes exhibition intends to give the public the opportunity to experience different paths that reveal space-times of exclusion and integration, of distancing and participation, of denouncing and critique, of abandonment and freedom, of isolation and friendships.
The exhibition space is marked out by real or imaginary paths of experience in which there is a coming together and interaction of street urchins, youths from the suburbs, immigrants and institutions, services, therapists and professionals from the social services industry.

Artistas participantes / Participant artists


Ghetto Six

Lorenzo Bordonaro

Participação do projeto Ghetto Six na exposição Woundscapes. Link à página do projeto Ghetto Six.​

Participation of Ghetto Six project to Woundscapes. Link to Ghetto Six project page.​


Embodied histories​

​​Vitor Barros

This project intends to highlight the texture of history and the layers of human experience, projected onto and embedded in the anonymous nudity of the migrant body.

Umbanda e Candomblé in Portugal
Umbanda and Candomblé in Portugal.

Clara Saraiva (photos: Vitor Barros)

The afro-Brazilian religions came to Portugal from Brazil after the 25th April 1974 revolution brought freedom of religious expression. There are nowadays  about 40 terreiros (cult houses) spread all over the country​.

​Healing market

Chiara Pussetti & Vitor Barros​

In the Great Lisbon area, therapeutic knowledge and practices coexist: they are plural, permeable and dynamic, subject to integration, syncretism, and loans. The search for alternative therapies is often a consequence of the ineffectiveness of biomedicine in relation to symptoms that immigrants present. Symptoms that arise as mirrors for different interpretive paradigms, medical models and relationship types with the world, the invisible, the ancestors, grief and death. Symptoms often untranslatable, if taken out of the context of their semantic networks themselves, of their own local universes of meaning.

Biocartografia. O corpo como tela. Biocartography. The body as canvas.

Angela Alegria

Biocartography is a photography and video based project, which explores the self-inscription of timelines on the bodies of five immigrants. Each participant was invited to mark his/her body with some dates and short descriptions of important moments of their lives. This process served as a resurfacing of marks that were already inscribed on the body’s history. The participants were also invited to exercise a flux of thought related to the different feelings and experiences that surround immigration. What is immigration? What are the physical and emotional marks left on the body by the displacement of geographical-cultural contexts?

Estrangeiro em mim
Stranger in me

Letícia Barreto

This project was created as a positive way to deal with the bureaucracy involved in acquiring legal residency and all the prejudice and hardships I faced in my early days as an immigrant in Portugal - a kind of self-therapy if you will. Throughout the creative process, the drawings made with stamps proved to be an ideal metaphor to express the very idea of stereotype and to help deconstruct a certain pre-conceived image that associates Brazilian women with criminality and prostitution. By presenting the viewer with a double illusion, the works serve as an analogy for our natural tendency to judge others according to pre-established ideas.

​​O meu corpo é a minha história.
My body is my history

Cristina Santinho (desenhos: Sara Serrão)

"Whether it be true or hypothetical he is now excluded from that past, he cannot stop, he must go on until he reaches another city where another past of his awaits him, or something that might have been one of his possible futures and is now the present of some other person. The unrealized futures are only branches of the past: dead branches. "

(Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities.)

​Na rua
In the street

​​Lorenzo Bordonaro

​Helton and I took these pictures in Mindelo (island of São Vicente, Cape Verde) in the summer of 2007. Helton was 16 at the time and had been living on the street for most of the time since he was 10. These photographs, where his gaze and mine overlap, are emblematic of an approach to street-engaged youth which acknowledges their critical and dire conditions and social and economic constraints but refuses to victimise them. Rather, it takes seriously their motives and recognise their agency, autonomy and will for independence.


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