Imaterial Award — Paulo Lima
Imaterial Award — Paulo Lima
Teatro Garcia de Resende
27 May / 21:30
At the genesis of the Imaterial Festival is the celebration of music as a cultural heritage and as an element of identity, as well as the insatiable curiosity of other cultures, arriving from different geographies. Obviously, this kind of celebration can only take place if there are people to guarantee something to celebrate. Such an indispensable role - played by those who defend roots music, and see it as both a living work matter and an urgent desire to fix and share a wealth far beyond any financial quantification - is the basis for the Imaterial Award. It’s an award that recognizes the often invisible yet critical effort done to keep local cultures alive and prevent them from being consumed by the dictates of the many global mainstreams.

Following the musician Kepa Junkera and ethnomusicologist and producer Lucy Durán, the Imaterial Award honors the remarkable career of anthropologist Paulo Lima, whose work has long focused on intangible cultural heritage, with a particular emphasis on musical expressions. Having dedicated part of the 1990’s to research of improvisational poets and writers of décimas from the Mediterranean and Ibero-America, from 2000 onwards, Paulo Lima has put his energy and enthusiasm at the service of the teams that achieved the inscriptions of fado, Cante Alentejano, the manufacture of cowbells and morna on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. He took on the role of coordinating these last three applications, and evaluating these manifestations in relation to social cohesion, environmental change, the climate emergency, and women’s empowerment, considering the function of traditions in a broader socio-cultural context.

Paulo Lima, who was the director of Casa do Cante between 2012 and 2016, and a researcher of Agrarian Reform in Portugal, is currently composing the application dossier for the Portuguese Philharmonic Bands to be included on the UNESCO list. He believes that heritage is everywhere - we just have to know how to listen to it, interpret it, and amplify its vitality and dignity.

Prize - sculpture by PEDRO FAZENDA