José Pacheco Pereira wins Vasco Graça Moura-Cultural Citizenship Award

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The Vasco Graça Moura-Cultural Citizenship Prize, worth 20,000 euros, has been awarded to researcher José Pacheco Pereira, because “his life path” is an unequivocal example of cultural citizenship, Estoril-Sol, the promoter of the award, announced today.

The jury, chaired by Guilherme d`Oliveira Martins, a member of the Lisbon Academy of Sciences, chose José Pacheco Pereira, 74, “in view of his lifelong commitment to defending the public interest, especially with regard to historical knowledge and the preservation of cultural heritage, thanks to the creation of the Ephemera Library and Archive, which has enabled the collection of unique documents and objects, indispensable for a better understanding of the events of Portuguese political history,” reads the statement sent to the Lusa news agency.

The former MP “systematically collected, classified, organized and studied documentation on Portuguese political life”.

Pacheco Pereira has long been dedicated to preserving books, periodicals, documents and objects linked to the memory of contemporary Portuguese history. He created and maintains the Ephemera Archive/Library in Barreiro, “the largest private archive in Portugal”, the same document recalls.

His personal library, located in Marmeleira, in the district of Lisbon, where he lives, has around 110,000 volumes and is considered one of the largest private libraries in the country.

The jury also recalls that, “from a very young age”, José Pacheco Pereira “was an active participant in political opposition movements” to the dictatorship, the regime prior to April 25, 1974.

At the Alexandre Herculano high school in Porto, he directed the student newspaper Prelúdio, which had been founded by José Augusto Seabra and Manuel Alegre.

Pacheco Pereira was a teacher at various levels of education, a member of parliament for the Social Democratic Party for three terms and was parliamentary leader. He was part of the Assembly of the Republic’s delegation to the NATO Assembly and was chairman of the subcommittee on Eastern Europe and the former USSR, and of the Political Commission of the North Atlantic Assembly. He was also vice-president of the Luso-Arab Cooperation Institute.

Elected to the European Parliament by the PSD party, he was vice-president of this body between 1999 and 2004.

He is a regular contributor to the press, radio and television, and is the author of the cable channel SIC Notícias’ program “Ponto Contraponto”, and was part of the “panel of the oldest Portuguese political debate, the ‘Quadratura do Círculo'”, currently called “O Princípio da Incerteza” (The Uncertainty Principle).

José Álvaro Machado Pacheco Pereira was born on January 6, 1949, in Porto. A university lecturer and political commentator, he graduated in Philosophy in 1978 from the Faculty of Letters of the University of Porto, having also completed a complementary course in Pedagogical Sciences.

His first book was published in 1971, “As Lutas Operárias contra a Carestia de Vida em Portugal: a Greve Geral de Novembro de 1918”, which was followed by around a dozen titles, including “As Armas de Papel. Clandestine and exile periodicals linked to radical left-wing cultural and political movements (1963-1974)” (2013) and a five-volume biography of communist leader Álvaro Cunhal published between 1999 and 2015.

He is the author of the blogs Abrupto, Estudos sobre o Comunismo and Ephemera.

In June 2005 he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Liberty by the then President of the Republic, Jorge Sampaio.

Since 2013, he has been a corresponding member of the Letters Class of the Lisbon Academy of Sciences.

In addition to Guilherme d’Oliveira Martins, who presided, the jury was also made up of Maria Carlos Gil Loureiro, from the Directorate-General for Books, Archives and Libraries, José Manuel Mendes, president of the Portuguese Writers’ Association, Manuel Frias Martins, president of the Portuguese Association of Literary Critics, and, at the invitation of Estoril Sol, the writer Liberto Cruz, the journalist José Carlos de Vasconcelos, who won the same award in 2017, the director for Education, Science and Culture at the Organization of Ibero-American States, Ana Paula Laborinho and the journalist Dinis Abreu, representing Estoril Sol.Organization of Ibero-American States, Ana Paula Laborinho, and journalist Dinis de Abreu, representing Estoril Sol.

The award was presented for the first time in 2016 to essayist Eduardo Lourenço. José Carlos Vasconcelos received it in 2017, writer and researcher Vítor Aguiar e Silva in 2018, actress Maria do Céu Guerra in 2019 and fado singer Carlos do Carmo in 2020. In 2021, manager and jurist Emílio Rui Vilar, former executive director of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, was the recipient of the award. Last year, it was the turn of painter Graça Morais.

The award ceremony will be “announced in due course”, Estoril Sol said.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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