By focusing on the capacity of marchas populares (popular parades) to mobilize emotions linked to a sense of belonging, this exhibition explores the ways in which the participants in the Marcha da Mouraria build and express their pride to represent their neighbourhood during the competition of the marchas populares, that takes place during the celebration of Lisbon’s saint patron day.
The portraits of the marchantes were taken in two different moments of the preparation for the parade: in the studio, stripped naked, with no other accessories rather than the tattoos that cover the body of some of them; and in the day of the parade, dressed in costumes, minutes before they marched through the neighbourhood.
Thus, the feeling of pride is explored in two complementary ways. First, as a collective emotion that is produced and experienced through the participation and involvement in the parade. Second, as an expressive form of the individuality. Rather than blurring these feelings of individual dignity and nobility, the marcha’s collective framework of action, promotes their expression.
Both in the portraits and the life histories, these young men and women pose proud of being from and representing Mouraria, giving continuity to a tradition that has passed from generation to generation and whose future is uncertain under the current socio-demographic transformations of the neighborhood.
February 14 – March 2, 2019