to Festival Internacional de Marionetas 
do Porto 2020!

Igor Gandra · Artistic Director

Human Limitations – Science and Politics of Animated Matter. Part I.

In this year’s festival, puppets, objects and matter come to life, challenging us to look to the material world from a different perspective – maybe one that is closer to their own – so we can rediscover ourselves, perhaps, in our ancient relentless humanity, perpetually renewed.

fimp'20! brings us a diverse set of universes and aesthetics that, in the whole, link some possibilities for a discourse in science, politics through their performance of animated matter. Yet, a virus, in its ambiguous nature of a virus, an inert being that has the ability to come alive, is putting in doubt how wide our concept of “animated matter” should be.

Some of the works present us with the (i) materiality of images already imbedded in our lives by the multiplicity of screens in our private lives and remote work. At the fimp, objects and their innocence (or their boldness, if you think about it) take up the task of creating this images live, before our eyes. In this year’s programme we will get to know some of the unmissable names in objects and matter performance, with their impossible bodies and faces and alternative cosmogonies or even to call upon historic events from the recent past that should not be erased from memory. Each of these works will place us before some form of poetry that will make us wonder – what it is to be human, and what can we learn and whish for starting from this condition.

In this edition there will be premières, workshops, showcases of work in progress and even some surprises.

Under the present circumstances we had to rethink the way we work with art schools in Porto. We had to discard our usual model in which students would be physically active during the festival, and we had to find other ways to provide the opportunity to work closely with the artists at FIMP’20, that surely will enrich the careers of these future professionals and artists.

This edition will be marked by the surge of a virus that apparently is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. Under the circumstances we have tried as much as possible to stick to the programme. For this reason we are keeping our commitments with the artists, the teams, our partners, and, of course, the public.

It is usual, at this stage, to write our acknowledgements. It is important at this exceptional times to give our thanks. We want to thank our senior partners at Câmara Municipal do Porto and Teatro Municipal do Porto for their support and their trust; to the Teatro Nacional São João who invested more than ever in this edition of FIMP; to the Teatro Constantino Nery and Câmara Municipal de Matosinhos who have joined FIMP in this edition to make it even better; and finally to the Direção-Geral das Artes who in this edition is once again supporting the festival. All support and partnerships are fundamental for the making of this festival and all these institutions were able to react to the complexity of the cultural industry at this stage. There is still a lot to be done, namely the amount that is allocated to Culture on the National Budget. But despite this, during the making of this year’s festival, all involved stood fast on what had been agreed, acting responsibly and in solidarity, those fundamental actions allow us to face the challenges. We also want to thank the teams from all the other venues not previously mentioned: Palácio do Bolhão, Teatro Helena Sá e Costa, Auditorium of the Círculo Católico Operário do Porto and Mira Forum. This is a deserved acknowledgement of all the women and men that were able to adapt faced with the current limitations. We give our thanks to those artists who put their bodies on the line in times of great uncertainty, and finally to the audiences who follow the festival, year after year, we are certain you will find motives to continue doing so in this edition.

Attending shows at FIMP is safe.

It’s more than that, it’s healthy! Not just because of the strict sanitary rules, but because the theatre is a place to meet good people: the kind of people whose conscious, private or collective, does not give way to the culture of fear, nor to isolation; people who will not give up on culture, on critical thinking or on empathy.

And now, let’s fimp!




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