Military Road

Estrada militar, 2009
Hd video, cor,sm20´

Military road is a video of a journey that traces the landscape of the old military road of Lisbon. The video highlights and traces the history and remains of a road once built as a defence against French invaders in the early 19th century.  A “ fortress of Europe” finds here historical territories to protect the city from new invasions of foreigners, but we can also find it even in the suburbs and in the margins of the city; perhaps because margins are under construction, unfinished and more definitive than some other forms of another urbanity. In turn, this creates constant redefinitions of culture and identity. This road has partially disappeared, however, there still remains 45km around Lisbon situated within the neighbourhoods and ghettos of the city. One could argue that the road is still acts as the fort that protects the city against foreign invasions; it holds a large immigrant population from entering the city. This work was developed through a process of collaboration with housing associations and habitants of these neighbourhoods and with friends and relatives of the artist . The work in itself is a journey in which the artist took with her some friends and relatives that are inhabitants of these housing complexes. The artist sought to explore the double metaphor and irony of the past territorial invasions, as well as the present urban flights and struggles.

Her interest was to look at how cities grow and how the nature of the city changes and transforms. Consequently, the functions of the urban spaces change and how this impacts on local and national culture and identities. This work was part of a major research art project entitled Underconstruction developed in Lisbon during 2009 with the artist and curator and urbanist Paul Goodwin.