Açoriano Oriental
Walk&Talk is a ‘meeting place’ in São Miguel

After two editions conditioned by the pandemic, the Walk&Talk festival is once again a ‘meeting place’ in São Miguel, with 46 artists in a program that questions the notion of ‘positionality’

Walk&Talk is a ‘meeting place’ in São Miguel

Autor: Rui Jorge Cabral

The Walk&Talk - Festival of Arts of the Azores will have its 11th edition this year, from July 14 to 23, bringing together artists, collectives and curators from different fields, namely visual arts, performance, music, architecture and design, in various points of the island of São Miguel, under the theme ‘In the first place’.

Walk&Talk will once again have its “home” in a temporary pavilion built for the festival, at Largo de São João, in the center of the city of Ponta Delgada (see box). The festival is coordinated by Irene Campolmi, along with Jesse James, Joana Cardoso, Luís Brum and Sofia Carolina Botelho.

Overall, Walk&Talk brings together 46 international and multidisciplinary artists from Portugal, the United States of America, Brazil, Finland, Mexico and the United Kingdom, who will present 15 projects. The program also includes six party nights and four tours.

In statements to journalists, Jesse James, from the association Anda&Fala, organizer of Walk&Talk, says “it is good to return to this dimension of the meeting and to establish an effective relationship with the island, which has been our base of operations and the context for the production of projects. Many people connected to the artistic sector will arrive at the island, so they will get to know the places, beyond the official program, as a means of discovering what is happening in São Miguel”.

This year's theme - ‘In the first place’ - proposes a reflection on the notion of ‘positionality’. Sofia Carolina Botelho, also a member of the board of Anda&Fala, organiser of Walk&Talk, states that this concept is based on the questioning and breaking of hierarchical logics, seeking an approach of "multiple first places, multiple references and multiple positions, which enrich the panorama and the artistic context" of the festival.

One of this year's innovations is the W&T Soundsystem project, a handmade and mobile sound system, designed and built specifically for this festival by Sérgio Coutinho and Francisco Antão. The goal is for it to tour different areas of the island - under the logic of 'walking and talking' -, being activated by guest artists and musicians, with emphasis on a conference-performance by the thinker and musicologist Edward George.

The Walk&Talk knowledge programme is also an important element of the festival, including initiatives such as the Summer School, the Talk About conversation cycle, guided tours, workshops or open studios. The novelty of this year's knowledge program is the Walkie-Talkie, aimed at children and youth audiences and families, on the morning of the last day of the festival, with workshops and a concert-experience.

Walk&Talk has also invested over the years in the presence of Azorean artists in its programme, particularly through initiatives such as the Young Creators, an open call that every year supports two young artists from the Azores - native or resident - with a creative scholarship, curatorial support and the presentation of their project during the Walk&Talk festival.

Walk&Talk Pavilion returns to Largo de São João
The Walk&Talk festival will once again have a "home" in Largo de São João, next to Teatro Micaelense, with a temporary pavilion designed by Ilhéu Atelier, by Rita Sampaio and Afonso Botelho Santos.

The W&T Pavilion aims to welcome the public and to open up to the city as a meeting and socialising point, but also as the festival's main stage, hosting performances such as 'The Fever Hand', by Vivian Caccuri, which opens the festival, or 'Water no get enemy', by Linda Lamignan. During the festival, the W&T pavilion will host concerts and DJ sets by Dj Lycox, Dj Marcelle, Dj Milhafre, EXPAT, Fallon Mayanja, Jessica Khazrik, Laura Ortman, Lechuga Zafiro, Nazar, PMDS, Sonja, Soundpreta, Tape and WaqWaq Kingdom.

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