A group of artists from Porto are going to have a one week residence in Pitões das Júnias, Portugal’s oldest village, located in Serra do Gerês. The programme features a series of concerts, movies, workshops and performances, including a concert by Rita Braga (with Frankão, on extra vocals and percussion) and the production of a 16mm film to be shot in the area.
The meeting is organized by Mónica Baptista, a visual artist and filmmaker from Porto.
I was invited by the Italian NGO “COSV” to take part of the 5th Beirut Comics Festival, as one of the international artists and to perform a concert at the opening. For the exhibition, I brought my drawings as well as comics done by my grandfather Ruy Braga in the 1930’s and by my greatgrandfather António Braga from the 1900’s which were never published! Also present were Luigi Simeoni aka “Sime” from Italy, Aleksandar Zograf from Serbia, Shennawy from Cairo (with his magazine Tok Tok) and Othman Selmi from Tunisia.
The festival was supposed to take place at the Unesco palace. But because of a very sad event, a car bomb which exploded on Friday, just prior to the opening of the festival, we were not able to access the exhibition as the roads were blocked and plans were swifting as we would hear about the news. On Friday evening, we noticed the bars closing early and the streets of Beirut were almost empty on Saturday morning.
The event turned into a very nice, more informal meeting between authors, editors and visitors from Italy, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Serbia and Portugal. This was my first trip to the Middle East and it was a very rich experience, especially from meeting so many talented people from these countries who work in the fields of comics, illustration and animation.
Here is a diary of the festival by Francesco (in Italian) http://blog.beccogiallo.net/fiere-ed-eventi/comicsagainstbombs-beirut-comics-festival-il-nostro-diario-12/
In the first week of August, I followed Nick Castro & The Silver Phial (LA) on their first Portuguese tour, joining them on stage as a guest musician in Ourense (Spain), Porto, Lisbon and Montijo. Thanks again to Nick Castro, Christof Certik, Cheryl Lynn Caddick and Patrick Ryan Cleary for bringing me along! Prior to this tour, they were the new members of Kaleidoscope (legendary UK psychedelic rock band) at the Euro Ye-Ye Festival in Gijon, with the amazing Peter Daltrey.
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New illustration work: after a long time without publishing drawings, suddenly I got three calls: from Serbia, Brazil and Lebanon! I will be the guest illustrator in the next edition of Serbian magazine Kvartal (with about 40 original drawings, mostly new stuff as well as some older drawings and sketches), also including a short bio and interview. Then I did a full page drawing for the next issue of Revista Prego, a very nice authorial comics magazine from Brazil, illustrating a song by my hero Arnaldo Baptista. Finally, I was invited as a guest artist at the 5th Beirut Comics Festival to happen in late October for an exhibition and concert at the opening!
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BRAZIL: In September and October, I will be travelling for the first time in South America, with a tour starting in São Paulo! Updates on tour dates soon.
During Novo Doba Festival in Serbia, Rita Braga had a live in studio interview and performed 3 songs at Radio Pancevo, with comics authors Aleksandar Zograf (Serbia) and Pat Moriarity (US). This one was conducted in Serbian and English:
In Portugal, Rita Braga was recently the special guest on the TV show “Planeta Música” for the National TV channel RTP1, in which she spoke about her album, showed her comics published on the Novo Doba Festival catalogue, and performed acoustically the song “Jedva Cekam Da Nedelja Dodje”: http://www.rtp.pt/programa/tv/p28042/e37
She was also interviewed for the radio station RDP Internacional, a forum dedicated to the Portuguese communities and other native speakers living abroad: http://www.rtp.pt/play/p865/e88189/forum
In June Rita Braga attended a few events related to authorial comics and graphic arts, starting with the amazing Novo Doba Festival in Belgrade/Pancevo in Serbia. She had some comics published on the Novo Doba catalogue and the cover of “Cherries That Went To The Police” was part of the exhibition featuring 10 years of Grrr! events at the Gallery of Contemporary Art in Pancevo, since Grrr! takes place in its curator and author’s hometown, Aleksandar Zograf. During the festival there was a live radio session with Zograf and comics author Pat Moriarity from Seattle where Rita Braga performed a few songs at the radio station in Pancevo. After Novo Doba, there was a 5 day comics workshop which took place in Deliblato Sands, and on the opening evening there two concerts by Rita Braga and Serbian/US Band Epp E Epp. (Deliblatska Peščara is the largest sandy terrain in Europe, once part of a vast prehistoric desert – since 100 years ago it has been revitalized and became a special nature reserve). A book will be published as a result of this workshop, in which everyone illustrated a story after a script by Wostok. Finally left to Rome and performed on the stage of the Crack! Festival, which takes place in Forte Prenestino, as well as some acoustic performances in different sites of the underground galleries of the fortress. Crack might be one of the biggest festivals of its kind in Europe where artists come from all over and have their own space to show original artwork and sell editions.
Rita Braga is one of the participants of the 2nd edition of the One Wo/Man Band Festival, taking place in Beja and Portalegre. She’s sharing the stage with the amazing Terry Lee Hale. Splitting both nights with Emmy Curl (PT), Nicotine’s Orchestra (PT) and Zoe Boekbinder (US).
My duet Chips and Salsa had a blast playing at the opening party for the PANAZOREAN FILM FESTIVAL! This time we met about half way from our two hometowns, in the middle of the Atlantic in Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores.
Soon I’ll be posting videos from our performance.
We also did 2 little videos on the island:
at the Santa Rita pineapple plantation
by the way, Chips and Salsa are now on facebook: