Parque da Cidade enriches the living heritage of the Routes of Santiago

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This time, the yellow arrows point the way to Parque da Cidade. “Percorrer o Tempo. Visões Contemporâneas do Caminho” is the exhibit where ten photographers portray how much the different routes that lead to Santiago de Compostela Cathedral involve: history, religion, and tourism. As part of the Xacobeo 21-22 celebrations, it can be visited until 16 October.

The destination is Santiago de Compostela, but what is truly matters is the path, the experience, and the connections. The five containers at the entrance of Parque da Cidade closely witness the pilgrimage of many who follow the so called “path of the stars” and show on video the experience of ten artists – Galatian, French, English and the Portuguese André Cepeda – along the way, whether physical or spiritual.

In the opening, this Monday afternoon, the Mayor of Porto stated that “the routes of Santiago and the Xacobeo are very meaningful to us”.” We are aware that we are a starting and finishing point, thus it is particularly important to be associated with this program”, confirmed Rui Moreira.

The mayor took the opportunity to recall how “itinerancy is also thinking”, as “when walking, we go in search of ourselves, of nature, of contact”. “Many of the people who look for this itinerancy suddenly realize that they are on their own. Our desire is to free the foot of the land”, he added.

Routes of Santiago building heritage 1200 years after

For the commissioner of the Xacobeo 21-22 celebrations, choosing Porto to bring the exhibit “Percorrer o Tempo. Visões Contemporâneas do Caminho”, after it has passed through several cities, “was completely normal”. “The Portuguese route is very popular and has had a unique growth, even because, in the last couple of years, Portugal has been making a great job in the spreading, promoting, signing”, underscored Cecilia Pereira.

The Galician responsible recognizes that “Porto Airport has become the natural entrance for most foreign pilgrims who make the route” especially due to “direct international connections with all of North America, Europe, South America and even Asia”. “The truth is that it is very easy to travel to Porto and from here walk to Santiago de Compostela”, reinforces the commissioner.

Cecilia Pereira also highlights how “the city of Porto is a reference for us in the areas of visual arts, without a doubt, through music, there is a constant flow”, added the Galician responsible.

Regarding the exhibit now in Parque da Cidade, the responsible for the Xacobeo celebrations admits that the goal of inviting young artists and exhibiting in containers was to show that “the Route is something that remains alive”.

“We must generate heritage because the route has 1200 years of stories, but it cannot live on the past. It has 1200 years stories but not everything is Romanic, Gothic or Baroque heritage. We must pursue on building that heritage”, said Cecilia Pereira.

To participate in the project, André Cepeda made his own Route of Santiago from Porto, “a very interesting and strong experience at the same time”. “There is an inner relationship that is created with the landscape, there is a confrontation with ourselves, a growth that takes place along the route”, he admits, adding that the film that is now on display reflects “the mental part of the experience, the mystique of the Route”.

“One never feels alone, they always feel accompanied by the presence of all the people who have already stepped on those grounds, that land”, assures the photographer, who this Wednesday, in the Auditório da Biblioteca Municipal Almeida Garrett, from 9 pm, gives a conference on the project.

Conference by André Cepeda this Wednesday at Biblioteca Almeida Garrett

The exhibit “Percorrer o Tempo. Visões Contemporâneas do Caminho” celebrates Xacobeo 21-22 and is the result of a partnership between Fundação La Caixa with Xunta da Galiza and Porto City Hall.

For the curator of Fundação La Caixa, “this exhibit represents the importance of Porto for the Routes of Santiago and, above all, the relationship between the northwest Portugal and northwest Spain, which is very strong”. “This is a sign of how authentic, real and deep the relations between Portugal and Spain are”, said Artur Santos Silva.

The showing will be open until October 16, from Monday to Sunday, from 11 am until 7 pm. The entry is free.

The Portuguese photographer will be joined by the Galician artists Carla Andrade, Luís Díaz Díaz, Iván Nespereira, Bandia Ribeira and Lúa Ribeira, the English artist Olivia Arthur, the French artist Michel Lebelhomme and Cristina de Middel and, Miguel Ángel Tornero.