The Doors of Macaronesia – As portas da Macaronesia, photographic exhibition

The Doors of Macaronesia – As portas da Macaronesia, photographic exhibition

In the period 21 Nov. 2023 – 4 Feb. 2024, an exhibition “The Doors of Macaronesia” was organized by FEDAC – Cabildo de Gran Canaria / Digital memory of Lanzarote – Cabildo de Lanzarote  in collaboration with Casa de Colón, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It is a travelling exhibition which will is currently at Casa Amarilla in Lanzarote, and will continua in Sao Miguel de Azores on April 12th, in June at the Madeira Photography Museum, in Funchal, and finally in July in Mindelo, São Vicente de Cape Verde.

The exhibition dives in the rich history of the ports and airports of the region, elements that have played a crucial role in the economic, social and cultural development of the archipelagos of the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands and Cape Verde. The docks and piers of Macaronesia have a long history dating back centuries and have been geostrategic points on the maritime routes between Europe, Africa and America. During the centuries of discovery and colonization, they served as important stopovers for expeditions, becoming fundamental infrastructure for trade and navigation in the Atlantic region. These ports have been much more than mere commercial passages, becoming places of meeting and cultural exchange, attracting merchants, sailors and explorers of various nationalities, which has created a multicultural and cosmopolitan environment in the archipelagos.

Also the airports of Macaronesia, although later, became key elements for inter-island connectivity and with the outside world. Since the first half of the 20th century, each archipelago had facilities that facilitated the air transport of people and goods, playing an important role in Atlantic aeronautical stops. Over time, both the ports and airports of Macaronesia have undergone significant modernization and today continue to play a vital role in the tourism and economic development of the respective archipelagos. In this context, the exhibition “The Doors of Macaronesia” proposes a visual and historical tour of the region with the aim of showing, through its photographic legacy, the infrastructures common to all the islands: ports and airports, the authentic “gates” of these archipelagos.

The exhibition, made up of more than one hundred images, reveals a common and genuine imagination of a geographical area that shares not only geological, climatic and biological characteristics but also a series of peculiar cultural features that differentiate them from other areas of the world.

Hence, the purpose of the exhibition is to highlight the abundant photographic heritage of Macaronesia, which documents its future, its people and its natural environment. And it does so with the aim of disseminating this cultural legacy among the inhabitants of the archipelagos. Proof of this is the very approach of the exhibition, which has been carried out through the joint effort of the main audiovisual and photographic archives of the archipelagos of the region, which have collaborated to make this unique exhibition possible.

The exhibition project was born from the initiative of the councils of Gran Canaria and Lanzarote, through the Canary Islands Historical Photography Archive of the FEDAC and Lanzarote Digital Memory of the Data Center, in close collaboration with the Regional Archive and Library of Ponta Delgada in the Azores, the Madeira Photography Museum of the Ministry of Culture of the Government of Madeira and the Institute of the National Historical Archive of the Government of Cape Verde. In addition, the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has contributed with its knowledge to document the sociohistorical context of ports and airports in Macaronesia.

Commissioner:  Gabriel Betancor.

Organized by:  FEDAC – Cabildo de Gran Canaria / Digital memory of Lanzarote – Cabildo de Lanzarote .
Sponsored by:  Government of the Canary Islands (Department of Universities, Science and Innovation and Culture – General Directorate of Culture and Cultural Heritage).
Collaborator:  Casa de Colón. Regional Secretariat of Tourism and Culture of Madeira. Madeira Photography Museum – Atelier Vicente’s. Culture – Goberno dos Açores. Public Library and Regional Archive of Ponta Delgada. National Archive Institute of Cape Verde.


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