Encontros da Imagem
Encontros da Imagem were first held in 1987, grounded on a previous photography and amateur cinema association. Having place in a country where, by several reasons, had not a strong tradition on photography our first and main goal was to show some masterpieces of the history of photography. To improve that purpose we profit some touring exhibitions and we had the friendly support from some important photographic institutions, as well. In parallel many young photographers were shown, once we consider quite important this kind of events to open the door to those who are starting a career.
After the 1974 revolution, Portuguese cultural associations became less and less popular compared to the feverish emerging political ones. This led to a serious identity crisis of former organisations based on outdated structures and aiming at activities that clearly became obsolete by the outburst of technology.
The main goal of the first Encontros was precisely to come up with a novel conception. A new energetic breath that might revive this otherwise extinguishing association in a town like Braga that was experiencing an intense growth at the time and now has over 160.000 inhabitants.
Along with seventeen editions now, the project of Encontros has evolved and reshaped adapting to the ever-moving aesthetical and formal concepts of creative photography –on focus in these events. Classic authors were also presented due to their crucial role in a conscious understanding of contemporary trends – the documental and the definitely experimental ones.
Step by step, new and solid contacts were establishedwith people and institutions belonging to the Portuguese and to the international world of photography, increasing the popularity of the Encontros. A whole programme of conferences and workshops by national and foreign experts was developed and this has been a strong contribution to foster the growing audience awareness of the various courses in present time photography. Portuguese photography has also consistently been promoted through successive and annually renewed commissions.
Encontros now take place at some neighbour towns besides Braga. For the whole month of September (till the 16th edition was May) several historic buildings, museums and art galleries are used as interesting sceneries where over 60000 visitors can enjoy about 30 different exhibitions, most of which relating to each edition core theme.
Having reached a reputation as one of the leading photography events in Portugal and the Iberian Peninsula, Encontros recently led the way to the foundation of Museu da Imagem. This will enable an annual programme of exhibitions as well as the possibility to recover a spoil of over 130.000 negatives from the beginning of the twentieth century, which illustrate the history of Braga.
Campo das Hortas, 35
T. +351 253 278 633