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“Silêncio: Voizes de Lisboa”: A poignant realization

Lepetitjournal Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
Celine Coste: I am used to saying that I have already had a thousand lives so it is difficult to present myself “synthetically”… I was born in Geneva (Switzerland) where I studied at the Beaux-Arts and worked in scenography . In 1999, I moved to Portugal, which I now consider my “home country”.

How did Lisbon come into your life path?

In 1999, I moved with my family, for professional reasons. Portugal was a bit of a “chance” but I was delighted to have the chance to discover a new country… far from thinking that this country would become “my” country!

What inspired you to make this documentary?
The meeting with Ivone Dias, a fado singer, who at the time was almost 70 years old, and her life journey. Today, Ivone just turned 87 and is more energetic than ever!
Your documentary’s main subjects are Fado and the gentrification/uberization of the city, particularly due to tourism,

Did you encounter any particular difficulties during filming?
Not particularly. Just disbelief to see how the city was changing. The subject of gentrification in fact quickly imposed itself through the testimonies and experiences of the people we met during filming.

In view of your documentary, do you think that the Portuguese authorities are making enough efforts to protect their heritage, in particular Fado?
It’s not really for me to judge that. I think the authorities are doing what they can but, unfortunately, culture is often not a priority for the authorities (and even more so in the last two years). Many artists only continue to work for the love of fado, almost selflessly, as seen in the film. It’s hard but it’s a reality.

A person interviewed in your documentary points out the difference between fado for tourists and traditional fado, what can you say?
I think “respect” is inherent in fado. Respect for those who sing and play but also respect for those who listen. Being in a “casa de fado” is almost a ceremonial act, even if it is also often very joyful! We spend the evening there, we listen, we let ourselves be carried away by the music and the atmosphere of the place. What mass tourism has brought is a kind of “fast-food” fado: groups of tourists come to eat or drink, listen a little, talk often, take a lot of photos and videos on their phones, then walk away. go!… Like many things that are worth living, to be able to appreciate fado, you need a little time…

Can you tell us about your meeting with singer Ivone Dias?
When I first heard Ivone, I was captivated by this already old woman (in my “reality” of twenty years ago) and completely overwhelmed by the emotion she conveyed in her way of perform fado. There is one fado in particular (O meu primeiro amor) whose first words are: “Aie quem me dera, ter outra vez vinte anos!…”… Later, I understood the importance that this song had in Ivone’s life…

How do you envisage the future of the city and of Fado, between tourism which continues to grow and, on the other hand, initiatives such as that of “Tasca Beat”, a cultural space created by Marata Miranda, a leading figure in your realization ?
It’s hard to predict anything, even more so in this time we’ve all just been through. I think what Marta says in the movie that “we are all Easyjet passengers”, that each of us is a tourist somewhere and that is inevitable, is quite true… But we all have a responsibility in the way of tourism. Namely, if it is in a spirit of discovery and interest in a culture different from ours or with a view to rapid consumption.

Can you tell us a word about your future projects?
I’m still completely involved in this film, which is an independent project and has filled the last four years of my life. My head is full of ideas but I just have to give them time to “come out”… I usually do this by going back to drawing and painting. These are my “anchors”… from there, new projects will resurface…

Finally, what places would you recommend to our readers to listen to the best Fado in Lisbon?
I don’t know all the “casas de fado” in Lisbon but there are places where I feel good and I think it’s different for everyone. What I suggest is to walk through the streets, listen a little at the door to what is happening inside, “feel” the atmosphere, enter if you feel like it and let yourself be carried away by the experience. It will be different for everyone. What I avoid are places that require a “minimum consumption” from the moment you enter, even if it is quite normal to pay a little more for your consumption to listen to fado, which which allows artists to be remunerated.

For me, there is obviously Esquina de Alfama (where Ivone Dias sings) which is still one of my favorite places, for fado and also for the links I have created there. TascaBeat do Rosário unfortunately had to close its doors; it was an exceptional place, as much thanks to the artists as to the public. It’s up to everyone to make their own discovery!

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