Deolinda da Conceição and the role of women in Macao’s literature and society is the opening theme of the 10th edition of the Macau Literary Festival, to be held from 3 to 5 December 2021 and based at Casa Garden, the Fundação Oriente’s headquarters. On the centenary of the Macanese writer’s birth, The Script Road brings writers, academics and translators to the event’s main stage to celebrate her life and work, and presents a performance built around her book of short stories Cheong-sam – production of the experimental theatre group Artistry of Wind Box, with performances scheduled for the 4th and 5th at the Portuguese Bookshop Gallery.
Back at Casa Garden, the Festival marks the second centenary of the first translation of the Bible into Chinese with a session in which the figure of Reverend Robert Morrison, main mentor of the project, will be remembered. This will be followed by a guided tour of the Protestant Cemetery, next door to Casa Garden, which is also 200 years old. Among the writers participating in the 10th edition of The Script Road, the Angolan writer José Eduardo Agualusa deserves a special mention. He will talk from abroad about Paraíso e Outros Infernos (Paradise and Other Hells), a book of chronicles that will now be published in Chinese and English by the Macau Literary Festival.
Other works launched this year by The Script Road include: O Tempo e o Vento, a book of poems by Fernando Sales Lopes; Erosão, the poetry of Gisela Casimiro in a bilingual edition (Portuguese and Chinese); and Nada te Morre, a short story by Maria Paula Monteiro, also presented in Macau SAR’s two official languages.
Books not published by The Script Road but which will be presented at the event include: To the Lighthouse, a short story that won the 12th Macau Literary Awards, by Mainland Chinese writer Wang Yixin; Unconditional Love, a science fiction novel signed by Leong Sok Kei; I’m Designing My Life, by writer and designer Un Kei; Sketching My City, a poetry anthology by Arthur Ng; Beyond Memory, by architect André Lui Chak Keong; Portraits of Luso-Asians of Sri Lanka, by fellow architect João Palla; and Contos de Macau, by João Morgado, a short-stories collection that results from the writer’s previous visit to Macau’s Literary Festival, back in 2017. The author will be presenting the book from abroad, via internet. All the remaining authors will be present on stage at Casa Garden. A Poetry Session organized by the Macau Outersky Poets Association will be the final act of the festival’s second-day program.
The Literary Festival also highlights this year the publishing activity of the International Institute of Macau, of great importance for the preservation of the History and the stories of this city. Stuart Braga and J.J. Monteiro will present their latest works, both under the IIM label: Nos Sa Téra, Nos Sa Génti (Our Land, Our People); and Macau Vista por Dentro, respectively.
Children’s literature will also be part of The Script Road through a workshop directed by Jojo Wong, vice-president of the Macau Outersky Poets Association.
The stage arts will not be limited to the staging of Cheong-sam. At the Portuguese Consul’s Official Residence, Bela Vista building, the Cai Fora theatre group will perform the play To Be Confirmed, inspired by the book The Lost Soul by Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature. There will be six performances, all to be held on the spacious terrace of the historic building.
Not-Caring-of-Never-Knowing-Where-to-Go is the show created by Isaac Pereira (text) and François Girouard (music) that will be performed at the Art Garden, twice at late hours.
Also in the same building, where Art For All association is based, a concert will take place on Saturday night with the participation of the band Work Tone and vocalists Gabriel and Maria Monte (stage name of Maria Paula Monteiro). The Portuguese singer will premiere in Macau songs from her latest work, the EP Laços (Ties), composed in close collaboration with Macau musician João Caetano.
Finally, in the area of visual arts, two exhibitions will be inaugurated at Casa Garden at the opening day of the Festival: one brings together the winning works of the Photography Competition A Strange Familiarity, organized by Macau Closer magazine; the other shows photography and writing work by Carlos Morais José and Rosa Coutinho Cabral, a project named Seen with the Feet, Written with the Eyes, which was recently presented at the Óbidos Literary Festival (Folio), in Portugal.
When: Friday–Sunday, December 3–5, 2021
Where: Casa Garden, 13 Praça de Luís de Camões, Macau
How much: Free admission
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