Short Course WOMANART

This short course is a part of the dissemination activities organized by the project WOMANART (PTDC/ART – OUT/28051/2017). Throughout the four sessions, we intend to explore the way artists and critics elaborate on or interpret collective models that, in turn, are still present in current social and cultural debates. In the Portuguese context, the memory of the dictatorship cannot be separated from the decolonization process, given that it is widely exposed when looked at from the African point of view. Nowadays, the analysis of the collective memory around this political period, that was ‘textualized’ in different narratives, is a powerful tool to think through  current challenges when facing issues such as globalization, migrations, minority communities, cultural identity, collective memory and eurocentrism. This course asks participants to think about a set of artworks and texts so as to produce their own critical intervention around the proposed themes.

Call International Conference WOMANART

18th, 19th November 2021

CEHUM, University of Minho

Online and/or On-site sessions


Deadline for proposals: 31st May

Notification: 15th June

Full papers (selected articles for publication): 15th December


Registration fee: 30 € (no registration fee for UM students, researchers and professors).


The International Conference Womanart is an outreach activity within the context of the research project Womanart – Women, Arts and Dictatorship. Portugal, Brazil and Portuguese Speaking African Countries (PTDC/ART-OUT/28051/2017).

The aim of this conference is to promote the visibility of women artists from the 20th century in Portugal, Brazil and Portuguese speaking African countries, highlighting their contribution to literary and artistic canons.  We welcome proposals from a multidisciplinary perspective, focusing on the Portuguese speaking transnational universe. The proposed debate is intended to scrutinise the impact of women’s artistic creations under dictatorial regimes, problematising the history of literary and artistic histories, and exposing their silences, invisibility and marginalisation. We expect to contribute to a revision/ reframing of the canons by exploring contrasting or complementary case studies. We will also consider the ways dominant oppressive ideologies have reflected on women’s artistic practices and the forms of resistance/resilience they have engendered.

We accept submissions in the fields of literature, visual arts, film, documentary, theatre and performance, addressing, among others, the following topics and issues:

  1. What are the characteristics that frame the work of women artists as a reaction to a dominant authoritarian ideology, either as a symbolic system that reflects a given historical situation of domination, or as a system of values that configures a given reality?
  2. How do these artistic practices function as instrumental forms of denunciation of an oppressive system that has been imposed over several decades?
  3. What are the strategies used by art and literature to represent the political repression of the dictatorship, the colonial war and/or their historical silencing?
  4. How were issues of gender politics and feminism addressed/ manipulated/camouflaged?
  5. In what ways and by which means do the current generations of women artists revisit this particular historical moment through their art? Particularly in the face of other present day social and political challenges (emigration, exile, diaspora, …)?


WOMANART website:



Masterclass WOMANART

Women, Art and Dictatorship

16th September 2020 – Online (Zoom and live sessions)


The aim of this masterclass – one of activities within the WOMANART project (PTDC/ART-OUT/28051/2017) – is to consider and discuss conceptual configurations related to postcolonial memory and gender issues. These topics will be scrutinised from an interdisciplinary perspective, converging on critical discourses on resistance, survival narratives and identity self-assertion. The masterclass comprises two sessions, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The session delivered by Professor Paulo de Medeiros (Warwick University, UK) will address a set of concrete case studies (a play, a novel, a film and a painting) generating a dialogue between literature, the visual arts and cinema (see details below).

The masterclass will include a workshop on creative writing led by the researcher Renata Flaiban Zaneta (CEHUM/UMINHO). The theme of the workshop is gender equality. Short stories by Lygia Bojunda (Brazil) and Alice Vieira (Portugal) will be explored as inspiration for the planned activities.

Registration at:

(The masterclass is limited to 25 participants)

Deadline for registration 15th July

All participants will be entitled to a Masterclass certificate

Administrative contact:


Masterclass Prof. Paulo de Medeiros (Universidade de Warwick, Inglaterra)

14h – 16h (via Zoom)

On Belonging: Inside, Outside and “By the Law”

 The masterclass will develop a comparative and intertextual study of the play King John (William Shakespeare), the novel Go, Went, Gone, (by Jenny Erpenbeck, 2015) the film Yvonne Kane (by Margarida Cardoso – 2014) and the painting St. Margaret by Paula Rego. The comparative platform is structured according to the themes of the session.

Biographic note: Paulo de Medeiros is Full Professor on Comparative Literature at Warwick University, United Kingdom. He is a member of the Warwick Research Collective, a research group working on the materiality of world literatures. From 1998 to 2013 he was Full Professor at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. He has been Guest Lecturer at several universities in Portugal, UK, Brazil and USA. In 2011-2012 he was Keeley Fellow at Wadham College, Oxford and he is a senior researcher at CES – University of Coimbra. His expertise encompasses Literary Theory, Postcolonial Studies, Photography and Cinema. In 2013, he published Pessoa’s Geometry of the Abyss: Modernity and the Book of Disquiet, and, in 2015, O silêncio das sereias. Ensaio sobre o Livro do Desassossego. His most recent work was the co-organisation of the reader A Companion to João Paulo Borges Coelho: Rewriting the (Post)Colonial Remains (2020).


Workshop on Creative Writing – Renata Flaiban Zanete (CEHUM/UMinho)

10h – 12h (via Zoom/presencial)

Creative Writing on Gender Equality Exploring Literary Excerpts by Lygia Bojunga and Alice Vieira

This workshop will focus on short stories by Lygia Bojunga (Brazilian) and Alice Vieira (Portuguese), considering that their works are relevant for a wider, adult public beyond the strict realm of “teen literature”. The discussion will be centered on the analysis of a set of main characters, mostly young women who question gender norms, as well as expressed theoretical reflections which help you to think out patterns of equality/ inequality. Participants will be asked to write a fictional piece after the discussed issues. Creative Writing is conceived as a means to apprehend concepts and debates related to these subjects.

Biographic note: Renata Flaiban Zanete (Researcher at the PhD Program on Compared Modernities) has coordinated several workshops on creative writing for Teacher Training Programmes. Recently, in 2018, she was responsible for the workshop Ressonâncias de Virginia Woolf em Lygia Bojunga e Alice Vieira, at the Centre for Research and Formation at SESC – São Paulo, Brazil. She also led a workshop on drama, Da notícia ao teatro, at de City Hall of Espinho, on the 27th February 2020, targeting high-school students. The theme of this session on drama was gender equality/ inequality.

            As a writer, Renata Flaiban was awarded the Prize Novos Talentos/FNAC for the short story Orlanda, and she received the Award for Gender Equality, by the City Hall of Odemira and Alzejur (Portugual), for the short story O peixe morre pela boca (both awards in 2018). In 2019, she received the literary prize “Manuel Laranjeira – Município de Espinho” for the play Refúgio.


BOJUNGA, L. (1989). A Bolsa Amarela. Porto: Edinter.

BOJUNGA, L. (1995). Angélica. (18ª ed.) Rio de Janeiro: Agir.

BOJUNGA, L. (1999). Os colegas. (42ª ed.) Rio de Janeiro: José Olympio.

BOJUNGA, L. (2002). A casa da madrinha. (18ª ed.) Rio de Janeiro: Agir.

VIEIRA, A. (2004). Rosa, minha irmã Rosa. (Edição comemorativa do 25.º aniversário da 1ª ed.) Lisboa: Caminho.

VIEIRA, A. (2008). Úrsula, a maior. Alfragide: Editorial Caminho.

VIEIRA, A. (2010). Meia hora para mudar a minha vida. Alfragide: Editorial Caminho.

Second Film Cycle WOMANART

Second Film Cycle WOMANART– Women, Arts and Dictatorship

Venue: Lúcio Craveiro da Silva Library,

Thursdays, at 21.00 p.m.

Press Release:

Highlights of the Second WOMANART Film Cycle:

After effects and Impact of Dictatorships

The film cycle will take place from the 27th February to the 16th April, in Braga, at the library Lúcio Craveiro da Silva.

After a first cycle mostly devoted to films by Portuguese women which addressed the “Estado Novo” dictatorship, this second cycle will exhibit films by women directors from Brazil and Portuguese speaking African countries, either dealing with the Brazilian military dictatorship or with the consequences of the last (and violent) stage of Portuguese colonialism, under Salazar’s regime. 

The forthcoming film cycle will include films by Margarida Cardoso, Diana Andringa, Luciana Fina, Lúcia Murat e Danielle Gaspar/ Krishna Tavares. The selected films explore issues related to collective memory, identity and trauma as instances of the after effects ensuing from the repressive politics implemented by both the Portuguese “Estado Novo” (including its colonial policies in the “overseas provinces”) and the military dictatorship in Brazil.

Guest commentators:

Luís Carlos Patraquim

Luandino Vieira

Diana Andringa

Luciana Fina

Vítor Ribeiro (Film curator of Casa das Artes de Famalicão)

Laís Natalino

The Film Cycle is organized by the GAPS research group, (CEHUM)  within the frame of the project WOMANART Mulheres, Artes e Ditadura. Os casos de Portugal, Brasil e Países Africanos de Língua Portuguesa (sponsored by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology PTDC/ART-OUT/28051/2017.

Contacts: Joana Passos;

               Laís Natalino


27th February 2020: Kuxa Kanema (2003, Director: Margarida Cardoso)

5th March 2020: Tarrafal – Memórias da Morte Lenta (2011, Director: Diana Andringa)

12th March: Terceiro Andar (2016, Director: Luciana Fina) Postponed because of Covid 19

2nd April: Que Bom te Ver Viva (1989, Director: Lúcia Murat) Postponed because of Covid 19

16 th April: Atrás de Portas Fechadas (2014, Directors: Danielle Gaspar and Krishna Tavares) Postponed because of Covid 19

27th February 2020: Kuxa Kanema (2003, Director: Margarida Cardoso)

Film synopsis: After the independence of Mozambique in 1975, the new elected president, Samora Machel, created the National Institute of Cinema (INC), as part of the country’s cultural policies. With the support of mobile units, the INC travelled throughout the country to exhibit a national news service – called “Kuxa Kanema” – as a film projection. The name of this news service means “the birth of cinema”. This documentary film revisits the history of INC, from its foundation to current decadence.

5th March 2020: Tarrafal – Memórias da Morte Lenta (2011, Director: Diana Andringa)

Film synopsis: This documentary film revisits the memories of the Portuguese Edmundo Pedro, one of thetwo surviving prisoners from the first phase of the concentration camp Tarrafal, in the island of Santiago, in Cape Verde. The camp was also known as the site of “slow death” and it was created by the Portuguese government during the Estado Novo dictatorship. It was built after the model of Nazi concentration camps, and it was used to put awayPortuguese political dissidents as well as pro-independence activists from Angola, Guiné-Bissau and Cape Verde.

12th March: Terceiro Andar(2016, Director: Luciana Fina)Postponed because of Covid 19

Film synopsis: In which language shall you tell the tales you were told? In which language should you write a love declaration? Historical district of Lisbon, “Colonial Neighbourhood”, Fatumata and Aissato, mother and first-born child of a big family from Guiné-Bissau discuss love and happiness. Everyday around seven o’clock in the afternoon, a rhythmic sound, like a beating heart, reverberates throughout the building, from the third floor to the fifth. The sound echoes through the stairwell, through walls, doors and corridors, inhabits homes, kitchens and inner yards.

2nd April: Que Bom te Ver Viva (1989, Director: Lúcia Murat) Postponed because of Covid 19

Film synopsis: A set of women who were former political prisoners of the Brazilian Military Dictatorship reflect on their ability to have survived torture and imprisonment, telling of the suffering and trauma they endured. The film combined witness statements with a fictional monologue weaved after memories narrated by these brave women.

16 th April: Atrás de Portas Fechadas (2014, Directors: Danielle Gaspar and Krishna Tavares) Postponed because of Covid 19

Film synopsis: This film is a research on factors influencing women’s political and ideological beliefs during the Military Dictatorship in Brazil. While women from leftist organisations fought to have a politically interventive role against oppression, women from right wing elites only left their domestic world provisionally, to defend their lifestyle from the communist threat. These diverse degrees of commitment were very important for the overall debate on women’s behavior and condition within Brazilian society.


7-8 June 2019, Mosteiro de Tibães, Braga Organized by GAPS/CEHUM/UMINHO

The workshop WOMANART I is an event organized in the scope of the research project Women, arts and dictatorship – Portugal, Brazil and Portuguese speaking African countries. It aims at promoting a debate and reflection around a set of interdisciplinary themes in working sessions led by artists/specialists in the project’s main areas, namely: literature, visual arts, photography, film, documentary, and performance. The main goal of both workshop and research project is to make visible the presence of women as creators of literary and artistic canons. Through the analysis of a variety of case studies we want to contribute to a revision and reinterpretation of the intersections between History and the history of the arts, Censorship, Inter/diction and Silence. The invited specialists, artists and performers will focus on the work produced by women artists of different generations and different geographical contexts whose artistic practice reflects on or resists to the authoritarian regimes/dictatorships, thus engendering critical discourses of resistance and narratives of resilience and identity affirmation.

Guest speakers:
07 June (Friday) 09:30 – Rui Miranda (Associate Professor – Universidade de Nottingham, Reino Unido)

“O álbum e o documentário: fotografias, ausências e memória”

11:30 – Mariana Pinto dos Santos (Art historian – Instituto de História da Arte FCSHUNL) “O contexto da encomenda artística durante o Estado Novo: sobrevivência e constrangimentos na criação”

14:30 – Teolinda Gersão (writer)

Biog. e Livros/Bio & Books

“A voz das mulheres em ditadura”

08 June (Saturday) 09:30 – Luísa Sequeira (Film director and researcher)

“Quem é Bárbara Virgínia?”

11:30 – Carla Cruz (Visual artist and researcher)

Exhibition: “Inauthentic Male”

14:30 – Bárbara Santos (Performer and artistic coordinator KURINGA/ Teatro das Oprimidas)

Performance: “Da Opressão à Expressão” Uma vivência prática com a estética feminista do Teatro das Oprimidas

Registration: 15 April – 15 May Registration form: Available on the WOMANART website: Contact for further information:

Registration fee: 20€ (one day only) / 30 € (two days); Students: 10€.
–Payment at the reception desk.
Please note: the online registration is mandatory to participate in the Workshop.

Cartaz Workshop I

First Film Cycle WOMANART

Venue: Cinemax – Braga Shopping

Dates: March 14th, 21st, 28th / April 4th and 11th

March 14th: Cartas a uma Ditadura/ Letters to a Dictator

 (2006, Director: Inês Medeiros)

Film presented by Ana Gabriela Macedo (CEHUM/ Universidade do Minho)

Film synopsis: Documentary by Inês Medeiros exploring films excerpts, written letters and photographs from the years of Salazar’s dictatorship. These documents are combined with a set of interviews to several women from diverse social classes. In 1958, Portuguese women were invited to express their support to Salazar through laudatory letters, as a reaction to the first crisis faced by the regime with General Humberto Delgado’s electoral campaign. Those letters, reveal both staunch supporters and more contained or simple women, who reacted differently to the regime’s propaganda. The film deconstructs the national appeal which motivated these letters as one of the regime’s strategies for self-perpetuation.

March 21st:  48 (2010, Director: Susana de Sousa Dias)

Film presented by Vítor Ribeiro (Film curator of Casa das Artes de Famalicão)

Film Synopsis: What can an individual portrait reveal about a political system? What can a photograph taken 35 years ago tell you about nowadays world? The film uses a group of prison photographs from political dissidents to expose the strategies used by the Portuguese dictatorship (1926/ 1933-1974) to perpetuate itself for 48 years. After Natureza Morta (Still Life, 2005, film internationally acclaimed), Susana Sousa Dias revisits the Estado Novo regime once more, this time using innovative cinematic resources.

March 28th: Spell Reel (experimental documentary, 2017. Director: Filipa César)

Film presented by Márcia Oliveira

Film Synopsis: The film is the product from a multidisciplinary research and a recuperative scanning process started in 2011, with the collaboration of Guinean directors Sana na N’Hada and Flora Gomes. Both of them studied film making in Cuba, having documented the independence struggle of Guiné Bissau (1963-1974) with their cameras. The project started with the recuperation, in a Berlin lab, of video and audio material which was rotting away. Once the material was treated and prepared for projection, Sana na N’Hada and Flora Gomes took it back to Guiné Bissau and went on the road, visiting the places where those images were shot in the first place, and showing it to local populations who were then invited to comment on what they saw. Eventually, people’s reactions and comments were added to the final documentary.

April 4th: Quem é Bárbara Virgínia? / Who is Bárbara Vírgina?

(2017, Director: Luísa Sequeira)

Film presented by Luísa Sequeira and Margarida Pereira

Film Synopsis: This documentary pays tribute to Bárbara Virgínia, the first Portuguese woman to direct a film, and the only one to achieve this as long as the dictatorship lasted. The film recuperates the memory of this pioneer who has undeservedly fallen into oblivion.

April 11th: Natal 71 / Christmas 71

(2000, Director: Margarida Cardoso)

Film synopsis:

“Christmas 71” is the name of a record offered to the soldiers waging war at the overseas provinces in that year. “Cancioneiro do Niassa” is the name of a cassette, clandestinely recorded by soldiers during the war years in Mozambique. At the time, Portugal was a great imperial nation – or so I read in the school books – and, in order to keep it as such, my father and the majority of his generation fought that war, which lasted for thirteen years. Currently, we are the silent bearers of those memories. I try to go back in time and understand. At my father’s home, I found some photographs, the cassette and the record. The cassette assembles voices of rebellion, the record is a piece of fascist propaganda. Both are memories of a fascist dictatorship, memories of a country isolated from the rest of the world, poor and ignorant, tamed by an unctuous and basic propaganda that tried to silence any conflict, and which prevented us from thinking critically and acknowledge the repressive nature of the regime we lived in.