Presentation of the Imaterial Festival in Évora

May 19th to 27th

The complete program of the festival was presented today, which includes Concerts, a Documentary Cinema Cycle, Conferences, and Heritage Tours. The Intangible Prize was awarded to Paulo Lima, an anthropologist who has dedicated himself to intangible cultural heritage for a long time.

Imaterial, a festival (organized by the Municipality of Évora and the Inatel Foundation) which, through music, conferences, cinema, and the perspectives on tradition that result from it, leads us to new ways of thinking of ourselves as a collective.

From the 19th to the 27th of May, Intangible Heritage will again be considered and honored in Évora, in its various forms. During these days and with free access, Évora, whose historic center is a World Heritage Site, will provide an unrivaled meeting of cultures. A meeting of new ways of thinking about ourselves as a collective. Music is a collective sharing, stories as narratives that are detached from the songs and extend beyond the stages, singing as an extension of the meal table, and the streets as natural places for music to be heard and mixed with the sounds of the city.

© Joana César

Carlos Pinto de Sá, Mayor of Évora highlights how important the Festival Imaterial is, especially in the years leading up to 2027 when the city will be the European Capital of Culture. Because this ending is in perfect harmony with the concept that was presented in the submitted application. It is therefore with great satisfaction that we are associated with another edition of the Festival Imaterial, which we hope will extend beyond the year 2027.

Francisco Madelino, President of the Inatel Foundation, says that this is a festival that is committed to connecting time and using art as a way of seeing and interpreting the world. And it is these initiatives that prepare us as human beings for the future.

© Joana César

Carlos Seixas, artistic director of Festival Imaterial, also mentioned that from 19 to 27 May, once again, it will be possible to demonstrate that the doors of the city of Évora open to the pulse of new times, thinking about the future. And he adds “Music has these things. It unites and shares collective dreams, challenges humanity to be more supportive, and face difficulties with more hope. Denounce and alert to injustices. But it also makes people complicit and connected for life. It’s as important in our lives as breathing.”

And if in music the journey takes place between Burkina Faso, Burundi, Kurdistan, Georgia, Greece, India, Iran, Latvia, Mali, Morocco, Mexico, and Portugal. In the documentary film cycle, the viewer will have the opportunity to go to Cuba, Mali, Mozambique, Poland, and Senegal. And between the conversations, you will also have the opportunity to wander through the cultures of India and the Seychelles. Also noteworthy in this conference program is the conversation with director Tony Gaftlif, the debate on the future of cante, and how Évora as a European capital of culture can, with this mission, reposition an entire cultural legacy in the world?

© Joana César

The musical program features artists from different generations, namely young musicians such as Ana Lua Caiano, from Portugal, Kaito Winse, from Burkina Faso, Silvana Estrada, from Mexico, Kadinelia, from Greece, and Danûk, from Kurdistan. The Huelgas Ensemble arrives from Belgium and is in charge of opening the festival with a unique concert that will take place at Sé Catedral de Évora, in what will be a show dedicated to Vicente Lusitano, a black composer and considered by many to be the greatest Portuguese composer in the world. 16th century, a pioneer in European classical music, and who is believed to have studied in Évora. From Morocco, the Master Musicians of Jajouka and from Georgia, the Iberi Choir, Kayhan Kalhor Trio from Mali. Sounds from India arrive with Sougata Roy Chowdhury and Nihar Mehta and from Iran Kayhan Kalhor & Kiya Tabassian & Behnam Samani Kalhor. From the region of Extremadura La Kaita, from Burundi the Drummers of Burundi, and from Latvia the Tautumeitas. The closing will be in Portuguese with Os Ganhões by Castro Verde & Paulo Ribeiro.

This year’s edition will also include the awarding of the Immaterial Prize to Paulo Lima, a Portuguese anthropologist who works on heritage as a form of political and civic intervention. Someone whose practice has long focused on intangible cultural heritage, with a particular focus on musical expressions. He devoted part of the 1990s to research centered on improvisers and decimator poets from the Mediterranean and Ibero-America.

© Joana César

From the year 2000 onwards, Paulo Lima’s energy and enthusiasm were put at the service of the teams that conquered the inscriptions of fado, Cante Alentejano, rattle making, and morna on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage lists. Having assumed the position of coordinator of these last three candidacies, he also wanted to think about these expressions in connection with social cohesion, environmental changes, the climate emergency, and women’s empowerment, reflecting on the role of traditions in a broad socio-cultural dimension.

He coordinates the registration of Portuguese philharmonic bands with UNESCO. He has been working for several years on Agrarian Reform in Portugal. He was decorated by the Government of Cape Verde, in 2019, with the 1st Degree Medal of Cultural Merit. He was distinguished, in 2022, by APOM ―Associação Portuguesa de Museologia, with the prize for the best museology work, given to the exhibition project of the Interpretative Center of Cante Alentejano. Convinced that heritage is everywhere – you just need to know how to listen to it, interpret it, and amplify its vitality and dignity. Thus, the work developed over the last decades by Paulo Lima will be recognized.

The Imaterial Festival has free admission and in the last edition had more than 3 thousand spectators. This year, the objective is to increase the number of visitors and participants in the different sections of the festival, reaffirming Imaterial as a meeting point.


Always confirm with the concert hall or promoter the conditions of access, confirmation of the date or time, tickets place of sale, price, and availability.

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