Time or no time, rain or no rain, the good people of Lisbon are again venturing out into the great unknown, full of new hope, in search of new adventures, because spring is finally here, and — more importantly — because the next lockdown hasn’t happened yet. Museums, restaurants, theaters, and cafes are all eagerly reopening their doors, cultural happenings of every variety are springing up left and right, and it feels good. See our full calendar of events for some ideas of what you, too, can do (with and without a mask) to feed your cultural appetites, and here’s some of what’s on for the next few weeks, weather, time, and global pandemic permitting.
First, to get an idea of how, why, and when this whole mess happened before, and to practice your Portuguese listening skills, you can check out this 20-minute ‘history of pandemics’ on Youtube (with English subtitles). It’s courtesy of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, which, in turn, has a bunch of stuff, both online and off, planned for the near future too.
ONLINE CLASSICAL CONCERT:
Speaking of listening skills, Portuguese national and Principal Conductor of the Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra Rita Castro Blanco joins the Gulbenkian Orchestra with some Strauss and Wagner this Friday (Apr. 16) at 19h, streaming live and free of charge.
IMMERSIVE INSTALLATION FOR KIDS AND ADULTS:
For your other senses, the CCB invites you and (your little ones) to On the other side of the hole, a trippy-sounding, multimedia art installation based on Alice in Wonderland. It opens on Apr. 17 and plans to be on view Tuesday through Sunday, until Jul. 3, for 3€.
Meanwhile, the CCB’s aptly titled Em Casa Exhibit asks questions like “What houses do we live in?” and “How do today’s architects design our homes, and how have the notions of housing changed in the time of the last generation?” Comparing the architectural histories of Rome and Lisbon, it “starts from the small scale of the shelter to the large dimension of collective housing, emphasizing complex and hybrid experiences that testify to the new relationship between individuals and communities.” It costs 6€ and is hoping to be on view until Sept. 5.
COMMEMORATIVE CITY-WIDE FESTIVAL:
The ladies detained by the Salazar regime in Portugal way back when used to say something eerily prophetic to each other to keep hope alive: “Coragem hoje, Abraços amanhã.” Now, and all month long, “Courage today, Hugs tomorrow” is the slogan for Cultura na Rua’s Abril em Lisboa 2021 Festival. Film, political rallies, debates, book workshops, art exhibits, and more, online and throughout the city, commemorate the coming 47th anniversary of the country’s revolution.
POLITICAL FILM FESTIVAL:
Also reopening its doors in time to celebrate April 25 is Cinema São Jorge with Festival Politica — four days of cinema, performances, music, exhibitions, and debates, all around the theme of “Fronteiras” (“Borders”). You can be a part of it from Apr. 22 to Apr. 25, free of charge.
UPCOMING MUSIC FESTIVALS:
Finally, anything is possible between now and July, so we’re taking it one day at a non-existent time here at Atlas. Two of Lisbon’s biggest summer music festivals, however — chock full of superstars both local and international but canceled last year due to you know what — are set to return in 2021. Yeah, it’s gonna be weird. Still, if you had tickets for 2020, you might be in luck. And if not — well, again, anything is possible. NOS Alive is, as of now, set for Jul. 7- 10, and Super Bock Super Rock is set for Jul. 16-18. So, while you hope for the best, you can study their line-ups, FAQs, and whatnot.
Be safe out there, people, stay vigilant, double-check with the organizers, and remember what Bruce Lee said: “Be like water.” And also what his son Brandon said (in that one awesome movie that, unfortunately, killed him): “It can’t rain all the time.”
“You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.”