Portugal is going through the greatest ecological crisis in its history. Estimates indicate that just in 2017 around a sixth of its forest area was burnt. These wildfires were also the deadliest ever, with over a hundred victims. The causes are mainly criminal. This problem is not a past disaster, or an exceptional catastrophe. It is steady growing trend in fires and yearly forest destruction area since the mid 1980’s. Long term solutions are not implemented, prevention is not effective, sustainable endogenous territorial planning and ecological ordinance is not in motion.
Portugal has seen a great increase in eucalyptus monoculture expansion. This exotic species is damaging to the forest ecosystem in addition to being easily flammable (almost all large scale wildfires develop in eucalyptus forests). Currently their extent is 26% of all forest area. To solve the wildfire problem in Portugal, providing information and stopping passivity is essential.
The author of this audiovisual project "HOME IS THE PLACE WHERE FIRE BURNS" is Martina Vídenová (*1985, Prague), Czech film music composer and musicologist with a connection to Portugal, a country she considers her second home. Martina seeks to raise awareness about the devastating fires in Portuguese forests through her artistic expression (music and photography). Native Portuguese forests have been dying and we can´t ignore it. Affected by the disastrous situation, and having taken live-fire and post-fire photos, mainly in the summer of 2017 in diverse areas of the country, with an artistic perspective instead of a “sensationalist press type” approach, she felt a need to start working on the composition “Requiem for Portuguese Forests” (a Requiem is a Mass for the dead usually played in the context of a funeral). After the great human loss in 2017, the composition is also dedicated to the victims and their families.
O B J E C T I V E S
- To honor the memory of all forest fire victims, as of all ecosystems destroyed annually by fires.
- To take a step against indifference and passivity - to search for new forms of ecological and social activism through art, through the creation of contemporary classical music and its fusion with the documentary format.
- To raise awareness and discussion about the forest fires and forest devastation issue in Portugal and other temperate countries throughout the world as a continuing global cause that should be addressed, in pair with other global ecological issues.
- To promote contemporary classical music through the creation of new audiences and new platforms.
P R O M O T I O N
- The search for maximum national and international attention through digital platforms to propagate the video, the requiem in the scenery of a burnt forest, with links to information about the issue and data for contextualization. Simultaneously, the promotion of the requiem audio recording and its publishing through digital music platforms.
- Working on an exhibition agenda to bring the project to cities and towns of areas affected by forest fires. As a complement, the possibility of integrating a requiem concert in the event as part of the inauguration.
- The possibility of promoting the project in other countries that suffer with forest fires and to take the project to places with a strong presence of Portuguese immigrants.
C O R E T E A M
Author - Martina Vídenová
Libretto - David Zábranský
Orchestra - mainly members of Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música
Choir - mainly members of Coro Casa da Música
Conductor - Jan Wierzba
Music Consultant - Jan Šikl
Sound Engineer - Rui Guerreiro
Camera - Luís Rosa Lopes
Camera - Yvon Teysslerová
Camera - João Sousa
Editor - Michal Dvořák
Producers - Tomás Valle, Martina Vídenová
Assistant - Pavla Rousková