Momentous Eventus: Charted Territories Edition

“I am not afraid of the darkness. Real death is preferable to a life without living.” Vasco da Gama.

524 years and one day ago today, Portuguese explorer, man who was not afraid of the darkness, and man who has a crater named after him on the Moon Vasco da Gama set sail from Lisbon to make some history by becoming the first European to reach India by sea. Two weeks ago, the India-born ‘Delta variant’ of the you-know-what was believed to be responsible for nearly 90% of all new infections here in Portugal. So… thanks, Vasco? Anyway, while very few Portuguese are planning another trip to India by land, sea, or other any time soon, locally you can move a little more freely the next few days. However, due to the fourth wave and mass panic, cancel culture is again sweeping the city fast. Here are a few local cultural happenings that haven’t been cancelled (but very well might be) for this weekend.

SCI-FI BOOK PRESENTATION (Jul9):
In 1974 (the year of the Portuguese revolution) a United-States-ian Taoist and feminist wrote a short story about the day before an anarchist-led revolution on, coincidentally, the Moon. This Friday night at 19h, Casa da Achada invites you to get familiar with Ursula K. Le Guin’s work. Entry is free, but you’ll need to falar um pouco de português for the full effect.

FREE OUTDOOR CLASSICAL CONCERTS (Jul9-10):
Festival ao Largo 2021 is mais ou menos three weeks of free classical concerts in one of Lisbon’s more beautiful central public squares, and it kicks off this Friday and Saturday nights, at 21h, with the musical ensemble Batidas do Destino (‘Beats of Destiny’).

NEW SPACE OPENING PARTY (Jul10):
Sadly, a good chunk of Lisbon’s art galleries and cultural spaces have gone under in recent years. But, with death also comes new life. New kid on the block La Sharada opens its doors to the public this Saturday night, and for their first-ever party they will have not one but two art exhibits, four local musicians playing live, and plenty of booze and pizza. Entry is free with prior registration.

STRING CONCERT (Jul 10):
The Lopes-Graça Quartet’s A Man In A Room, Gambling is a modern Portuguese string interpretation of a collaborative project between a Spanish sculptor and a British composer that creates ‘an imaginary space for the nocturnal listener.’ Yeah, we know, we’re intrigued too. It’s happening this Saturday at 19h, and tickets are 7€.

LOCAL BOAT TOUR (Jul10):
While setting sail from Lisbon to India is, again, so 524 years ago, a nice way to spend your evening might be to set sail along the coast of Lisbon and enjoy the sunset with some cocktails and a DJ. Lisboat invites you to do just that for 35€ this Saturday night (with discounts for your littluns).

UPCOMING CONCERT TICKETS (for July 17):
And, finally, now local musical legends who once chose rock-and-roll over pottery Glockenwise will be playing hits from their 10-year repertoire next Friday night at the CCB, unless they get cancelled. The 10€ tickets are on sale now (and are likely to sell out soon).

Be wary but not afraid of the darkness, friend, and check out what else is (probably) on for this weekend and onwards here, but remember to triple-check with organizers the day of. Stay safe, stay sane, may the wind be always at your back, and remember what United-States-ian Ursula K. Le Guin once said: “It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.”




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