The pandemic anticipated the arrival of Casa do Capitão because this project, chosen to mark the cultural programming line at HCB, will operate at the “ Residência do Diretor“ of the former Military Maintenance after the building’s rehabilitation works.
We spoke with Gonçalo Riscado, Director of Casa do Capitão, to understand how the idea of opening the Casa do Capitão came up in a pop-up format and that, over the course of three months, with the support of the Hub Criativo do Beato and the Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, gave life to HCB and the cultural industry of Lisbon.
How did the idea of making the pop-up edition of Casa do Capitão come up?
As the pandemic evolved, it was soon realized that this would not be a short-term problem. The cultural sector was being and would be greatly affected. Many programming spaces in the city were closed and would continue in the summer (and continue to do so now). We had been working on the future project of Casa do Capitão for over a year, so we knew what the potential of its exterior area would be and we were aware of the principles and objectives of the Hub Criativo do Beato. Setting up a space, mostly outdoors, for cultural programming in the summer was a necessity and we had the conditions to do so.
With the Musicbox closed we could transfer the equipment. Our programming, communication and production teams were available and motivated for the task. We challenged our neighbours Browers and Praça who immediately joined. Some financial resources were lacking for basic infrastructures in the space and we presented the idea to the City Council of Culture of CML, quantifying the programming we proposed and the response was also positive. Then, in three weeks, with the help of many people, we created and assembled everything.
How do you think the impact of this initiative was on the public? And in the artistic community?
I think we did something important, with a lot of impact. The feedback we received from the public and the artistic community was very positive. Over 51 days, we held 207 activities, of which 63 concerts, 77 Dj Sets, 7 exhibitions, 33 workshops, 10 playlists, 3 conversations and 4 performances for an audience of around 10,000 people. But, more than these numbers, I think we have created a small oasis of trust through practice and cultural interaction. At least for us it worked as such.
What do you think the innovation economy can do for Culture? What are the main areas in which innovation can contribute?
It has done very interesting and important things, for example in terms of the democratization of means of production and creation, training, collaborative work, programming networks, means of distribution, content formats, possibilities of communication and access. It has done very uninteresting and worrying things, for example the weakening (towards destruction) of the media and the role of informed mediators, the trivialization of content, the loss of value of some cultural products, the favoring of global monopolies, the normalization of taste. I would like, for example, to see more innovation applied in regulation technology and, why not, in models of equitable distribution of wealth or tools for solidifying and implementing democracies. It would do a lot for Culture and, in these areas, Culture can also do a lot for the economy of innovation.
What can you tell us about the Casa do Capitão project that will inhabit Hub Criativo do Beato? Has this experience changed anything in your plans?
I think that with this pop up we’ve come a long way. It will be a space for cultural programming and creation, multidisciplinary but with a great focus on music, for all ages and.… much more will be said in due course. This experience reinforced the enthusiasm of the whole team in this project.