In October there will be an international congress dedicated to José Afonso

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An international congress to discuss “the musical practice” and “civic intervention” of musician José Afonso will take place in October in Setúbal, the José Afonso Association has revealed.

The congress is scheduled for October 26 and 27, at the Luísa Todi Municipal Forum, and the organization hopes that it will be “an unprecedented opportunity for a broad cross-section of knowledge about José Afonso’s journey”, at a time when the 50th anniversary of April 25 is being marked.

In addition, the association wants to “encourage the location and collection of documentation and phonographic material related to José Afonso for later preservation”.

As yet no official program has been announced, conferences, communications, “testimonial sessions”, exhibitions and concerts are planned and are expected to bring together both “specialists dedicated to studying the various facets” of José Afonso’s work, as well as “collaborators and friends of the singer”.

Among the topics to be discussed at the congress are José Afonso’s political intervention before and after April 25, 1974, “the impact of the years in Mozambique”, “the repressive apparatus”, “cultural and philosophical influences” and “women in José Afonso’s work”.

The organizing committee includes officials from the José Afonso Association, the Institute of Contemporary History, Setúbal City Hall and the Institute of Ethnomusicology.

José Afonso was born in 1929 in Aveiro and died in 1987 in Setúbal, where his remains are buried.

The singer-songwriter’s work has been reissued, in agreement with his family, in a publishing plan that began in 2021 and will continue for the next two years, making available albums that have long been unavailable on the market and that attest to the composer’s lyrical and musical career.

In this publishing plan, for example, the debut album on the Orfeu label, “Cantares do Andarilho” (1968), was reissued, as well as “Cantigas do Maio” (1971), “Venham Mais Cinco” (1973) and “Com as Minhas Tamanquinhas” (1976).

Author of “Grândola, Vila Morena”, one of the songs chosen as the password for the advance of the troops in the April 1974 Revolution, José Afonso died on February 23, 1987, of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, diagnosed five years earlier.

In 2020, the Ministry of Culture opened a process to classify José Afonso’s work, but until last December it was still unfinished, because not all owners allow an evaluation of the goods and phonographic materials, according to information released at the end of 2023 by the then-appointed Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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