Brazil has been experiencing significant political activity: from the demonstrations for more social justice and against the Olympics to the taking to the streets by the pro-military-coup-right-wing; from Dilma Roussef’s impeachment to the subsequent presidency of Michel “fora” [“out”] Temer and Jair Bolsonaro’s election. Political tension seems unable to avoid going back to a colonial framework that systematically and structurally denies diversity. On the other hand, artists and creative centres are bursting with creative vigour and assert themselves with great protests while facing cuts in funding by the State. FITEI’s programme seeks to meet those artists, who struggle to decolonise thought. In recent years, I had the chance to watch very sharp plays: even during bleak times, artists and institutions find ways to break through, aiming to bring to the stage a non normative body, Afropolitanism, queer culture and the empowerment of both women and black people. It all seems to point to a revolutionary, decolonised attitude, one that sets up a more diverse and inclusive Brazil, matching its continental importance, but that strongly clashes against those who own lands, guns and the Bible! 


FITEI 2019 carries on the quest for rejuvenation that the festival has been pursuing in recent years. It is also invested in consolidating the maturity that comes not only from 42 years of uninterrupted activity, but also from establishing partnerships with municipalities (Porto, Matosinhos, Vila Nova de Gaia and Viana do Castelo) and resizing by joining DDD. The 42nd edition of FITEI is dedicated to Decolonised Brazil. Seleção FITEI will present Brazilian or Brazilian-directed plays, such as “Democracia” , directed by Felipe Hirsch and based on “Facsímil”, by Chilean Alejandro Zambra, and “Odisseia”, produced by Cia. Hiato and directed by inspired director and playwright Leonardo Moreira from São Paulo. Argentinian playwright and director Federico León, who had brought “Las Ideas” to the festival in 2016, returns with “Yo Escribo. Vos Dibujás”, a FITEI co- production that involved two residencies in Porto (in October 2018 and March 2019) and local actors, thus continuing our partnership with TNSJ. Also in TNSJ, we’ll present “Tchekhov é um Cogumelo”, by the Lusco-Fusco company, and “Preto”, by the companhia brasileira de teatro. They are joined by the resistance voices Marianella Morena, Renato Livera, Grace Passô, Luciana Lara and Daniele Avila Small. As far as Portuguese creations go, we included Brazilian director Marco Antonio Rodrigues with the play “Ala do Criados”, produced by Teatrão; André Amálio returns looking at Portuguese colonialism with “Amores Pós-Coloniais”; and we also bring to the stage “História Ilustrada do Teatro Português”, directed by Martim Pedroso, “Armadilha”, by DEMO, “Seattle”, by LAMA, “Pela Água”, by Tiago Correia/A Turma, and “Don Juan Esfaqueado na Avenida da Liberdade”, directed by Pedro Gil. As usual, the programme is not just about plays. The festival offers workshops and informal training initiatives in parallel included in the section Isto Não É uma Escola FITEI; we’ll have exhibitions, book launches, concerts and parties (in collaboration with Matéria Prima) in the scope of FITEI Aberto; and we’ll once again open the door to theatre schools with the initiative FITEI e as Escolas do Porto. In addition, this edition encompasses a new Residências FITEI programme, seeking to foster dialogue within the artistic community, as well as to encourage creation within the festival. This year, FITEI aims to be a place of resistance, as well as innovation and reflexion, a meeting point for artists and audiences that is intergenerational and artistically diverse. With this programme we also intend to extend a hand to our brother country in a dialogue we believe enriches the Portuguese and the Iberian-American art scene.

Gonçalo Amorim
Artist Director of FITEI - Festival Internacional de Teatro de Expressão Ibérica