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News Porto.


Towering Figure 2019 of the University of Porto recalls Paulo Cunha e Silva thinking

The Faculty of Sports of the University of Porto (FADEUP) hosts the "Dobra 9", a talk about "Corpo e lugar: uma polaridade ilusória", ["Body and Place: unrealistic polarity", free translation], on 23rd October, at 6pm.

Paulo Cunha e Silva (1962-2015) is the Towering Figure 2019 of the University of Porto.

The year 2019 is the "Caosar" year, as in "Chaos", which Paulo Cunha e Silva called "the world's most beautiful signature". This project is divided in 16 moments (Dobras), taking place in several venues of the city of Porto and at the University of Porto.

The proposed programme comprises, inter alia, actions such as talks, lectures, performances, exhibitions, book launches, music and poetry; an eclectic programme, so pleasing to Professor Cunha e Silva, for sure.

This programme has the dual aim of honouring Paulo Cunha e Silva, the man who was well ahead of his time, and has deeply influenced the Academia and the Portuguese culture and to build the future of his legacy.

The legacy and work of the physicist, professor, and cultural programmer is the focus of the cycle of conferences and the publication of original research papers throughout 2019.

This tribute is organised by the University of Porto, and the main aim is to mobilise the academic community and the public at large, in the honouring of an outstanding individual that had an impact beyond national borders, as well as an extraordinary bearing in Portuguese society, but most especially in the city of Porto, both as Councillor for Culture and as a Professor.

Over the two years that Paulo Cunha e Silva was councillor for Culture, under the mandate of Rui Moreira, the city of Porto reached a cultural apogee, whether by the manifold projects he launched or the intensive networking with cultural agents in Porto.

One of his many slogans was the will to transform Porto in a "Liquid City", where "everything can happen everywhere".

The celebrations of the Towering Figure 2019 of the UP conclude in November and December, with the launching of two collections that will shed some light on the thought of Paulo Cunha e Silva and how he has built unlikely bridges regarding all these fields of knowledge, namely the book "Caosar: Pensamento de Paulo Cunha e Silva", which is a compilation of unpublished texts of his doctoral thesis and a special issue of the Faculty of Sport magazine, "Paulo Cunha e Silva: entre a indisciplinaridade e a transdisciplinaridade", to be released in December.

The University of Porto joins Porto City Hall to honour the inspirational man who has touched everyone's lives, from the Academia to the city.


Paulo Cunha e Silva was a Professor at the FADEUP for over two decades and won admiration for his forward thinking, namely the establishment of the Chair in the subject of Introduction to Contemporary Thinking, but his activities rapidly expanded beyond the University.

In 2001 he was a leading programmer of Porto 2001 European Capital of Culture, and he was in charge of the areas of Thinking, Science, Literature and Cross-border Projects.

Between 2003 and 2005, he was Director of the Arts Institute of the Ministry of Culture. From 2009 to 2012, he was Councillor to the Portuguese Embassy in Rome. In 2012, he was Project Commissioner for the project "O Castelo em 3 atos" of the European Capital of Culture Guimarães 2012.

In 2013, he took on the most intense of his projects and became Councillor for Culture, upon invitation of Mayor Rui Moreira, and which he held this his death, on November 11th 2015.

In that same year, Paulo Cunha e Silva was elected Personality of the Year by Portuguese newspaper Público and one of the 200 most influential Portuguese by the magazine Visão.

Posthumously, Paulo Cunha e Silva was awarded the Porto Medal of Honour in 2016. Porto City Hall has also paid tribute to Paulo Cunha e Silva with the exhibition, which was later conveyed into a book, "751 Dias - O Tempo não Consome a Eternidade", [751 Days - Time does not Wear Out Eternity - free translation]. The book shares an overview of the several actions the former councillor for culture developed while in office.

The book was released at the Almeida Garrett Municipal Library auditorium, on 9th June 2018. This date is symbolic as Paulo Cunha e Silva would reach 56 years of age that very day. Furthermore, Porto City Hall established the Paulo Cunha e Silva Art Prize (PCS Art Prize) to honour his contribute to culture during his entire life.