By Felicity Clarke, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – The cultural buzz in Santa Teresa takes a literary bent this weekend as the city’s bohemian village on the hill plays host to the second annual FLIST, the Santa Teresa Literary Festival. Organized by the Centro Educacional Anísio Teixeira, FLIST returns on Saturday, May 15th and Sunday, May 16th with a program full of literary talks, workshops and musical performances.
The principal location for the event is the Parque das Ruinas (Ruins Park), where the stunning view will backdrop a packed schedule of discussion, film screenings and performance in a vibrant celebration of lyrics and literature.
Brazilian authors dominate the program, with this year’s festival paying homage to Mato Grosso born poet Manoel de Barros, considered one of the most original writers in the Portuguese language of the 20th century. Pedro Cézar’s award-winning documentary film about the poet’s work, Só Dez Por Cento é Mentira (Only Ten Percent Is a Lie), will be showing at the Parque das Ruinas auditorium at 11:30 AM on Saturday.
The second major tribute in the program is to Vila poet and lyricist Noel Rosa, this year being the centenary of his birth. Rosa composed over 300 songs before his early death in 1937.
To celebrate Rosa’s work, a botequim bar will be set up in the square at Parque das Ruinas, where a Saturday lunchtime samba show by Paulinho do Cavaco and the group Tocando a Vida will take place from 12PM to 2PM. Later, there will be discussions and talks on the immortal poetry of his lyrics.
American author and current Santa Teresa resident Sasha Cagen will be launching the Brazilian version of her book, Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics at Brasilis Hostel on Rua Murtinho Nobre, 156, just opposite the Parque das Ruinas, at 3PM on Sunday.
A widely published author and essayist, Cagen is founder of the quirkyalone movement of those who prefer and enjoy being single as opposed to settling for the sake of it.
“The book actually came out here in 2005, but I had a dream to live here in Brazil and it’s a perfect serendipity that I’m living in Santa Teresa and have the opportunity to launch the book at FLIST,” says Sasha, who will be reading an essay introducing the quirkyalone concept in both English and Portuguese and leading a discussion accompanied by afternoon caipirinhas.
Cagen aside, the event’s authors primarily work in Portuguese and the festival is a perfect opportunity to discover Brazil’s literary scene, especially for Portuguese learners looking to get closer to Brazilian culture.
Nevertheless, as Demetrio Oliveira, one of the organizers of the event, explains, non-Portuguese speakers can enjoy the events too: “There’ll be music, theater, dance and restaurant offers, as well as an exciting way to have contact with our language, which, while people may not understand every word, can understand the feeling,” he says.
With Santa Teresa’s vibrant dining scene, the restaurant offers are a great addition to the program. For the festival, selected restaurants will create special dishes named after famous Brazilian authors, such as a Machado de Assis Fish & Chips platter at Hotel Santa Teresa’s Tereze Restaurant, and Sobrenatural’s Surubim Fish a lá Antonio Miranda grilled with coconut milk and served with broccoli rice.
To view the full FLIST program of events, performances and food offers visit http://www.flist.org.br.