Fogo Island Dialogues: Atlantic Codes

November 8 to 10
Lisbon, Portugal
Free and open to all

Fogo Island Arts presents Fogo Island Dialogues: Atlantic Codes, a three-day conference in Lisbon bringing together interdisciplinary thinkers and makers to explore the Atlantic’s historic and contemporary codes of economics, travel and dominion through artistic and scientific debate.

Following previous editions on Fogo Island, in Chicago, New York, Berlin, and Vienna, the 2019 Fogo Island Dialogues will take place in Lisbon, across the storied ocean from Fogo Island. The constant point of return for this edition of the Dialogues will be the Atlantic Ocean near which we gather. The Atlantic is understood not only as a place but as processes of travel, trade and colonial dominion that have connected very distant locations. As notions of “Europe” are being debated and reshaped, this is also an opportunity to reimagine trans-national but also trans-local networks linking Canada and Portugal; new networks forged from the old.

Connected by Atlantic cod fishing economies for centuries, Newfoundland and Portugal have shared ways of knowing embodied in “hand-lining,” fishing from small punts or dories, and salting cod. They also share unresolved questions: If entire economies, ecologies and forms of making were shaped by the presence of abundant cod in the North Atlantic, binding distant communities, what is to be made of the accelerated extraction which depleted Atlantic cod populations to the point of near extinction in the last century? What features of today’s economy, politics and culture remain embedded the asymmetrical models of exchange imposed by Portuguese-, Spanish-, Dutch-, English- and French speaking powers around the Atlantic Ocean? Given the violence and trauma of many processes that constitute the Atlantic, how to navigate between the need to remember and mourn and the desire for renewal and progress?

Gathering distinguished authors – grounded in diverse disciplines and variably connected to Lisbon and Fogo Island – Atlantic Codes is a collective attempt to cohere common threads, storylines, algorithms or ways of moving and making. The project expands upon the role of Fogo Island Arts and Shorefast as precedents for using art and design as tools for building economic and cultural resilience in remote communities. Atlantic Codes features 19 participants and will unfold over the course of three days at various locations in Lisbon that have thematic resonance and parallel social values.

Participants:  Jürgen Bock, Zita Cobb, Manthia Diawara, Angela Ferreira, Marina Fokidis, Fabrizio Gallanti, Laurent Gutierrez, Ayeesha Hameed, Grada Kilomba, Anniina Koivu, João Laia, João Mourão, Manuela Ribeiro Sanchez, Nicolaus Schafhausen, Walter Scott, Luís Silva, Monika Szewczyk, André Tavares, and Gaëtane Verna.

Additional participants and detailed program to be announced.

Fogo Island Dialogues is an interdisciplinary conference and conversation series conceived by Fogo Island Arts that brings together leading artists, thinkers, professionals and researchers from a variety of disciplines to address issues of vital contemporary importance. By imagining the productive intersections of art, economy and community between local and trans-national networks, each edition of the Dialogues focuses on how art can influence social change and explores the roles that art and artists play in such initiatives.

Atlantic Codes is a project organized by FIA Advisory Board members Monika Szewczyk and Fabrizio Gallanti, and is developed in partnership with Maumaus, Lisbon Architecture Triennale and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.


Free and open to all but space is limited.