WHAT IS THE MALACATE PROJECT?
MALACATE is a multidisciplinary artistic intervention project created specifically for the Mina de São Domingos (Mértola): a place with a remarkable history of mining, as evidenced by the industrial building of impressive aesthetic value that still exists.
MALACATE will be the vector of contemporary and innovative artistic work, which will emerge from the meeting between locals and a community of national and international artists, supported by a vast process of community mediation.
It is characterized as an open-air performance gallery that, like the malacate - transduction industrial equipment - creates links between the mine and the outside, between the hidden and the revealed, between the past and the contemporary and between the real and the fiction. It is from the nature of the place and its people that a cultural offer is developed
diversified with enormous attractive potential for audiences of the most
varied ages and origins.
MALACATE is eager to transform itself into an agent of territorial and community regeneration, asserting itself as an unavoidable place for cultural enjoyment on a regional scale, with an impact on the attractiveness of places, as well as external visitation flows.
It also wants to improve the quality of life of residents and expand
its horizons, creating a place of cultural enjoyment that is unique in the country, based on its aesthetic potential, which constitutes an authentic open-air museum, creating a new layer, through contemporary artistic dynamics, in the field of performing arts and
Through a transnational cooperation between the Cepa Torta Company and the Municipality of Mértola , Røros kommune (Norway) and the artist Lise Wulff (Norway), intends to promote a new vision of Mina de S. Domingos through the action of artistic practice and the work of, with and for the local community, creating a contemporary image of the place, not erasing its industrial past, but reoccupying the different spaces with new memories and meanings.
THE S. DOMINGOS MINE
"A land of contrasts, the uniqueness of the Mina de S. Domingos location does not leave the eyes of those who pass by here indifferent.
It is the period of modern exploration that dictates the importance and historical legacy of Mina de S. Domingos. In an intensive extraction activity that took place over more than a century (1854-1966), the British company Mason & Barry extracted from the S. Domingos Mine deposits more than 20 million tons of ore (copper, zinc, lead and sulfur).
The Mina de S. Domingos was even the largest Portuguese mining operation until the 1930s, with a labor force continuously exceeding a thousand workers until close to its closure.
Mina brought to the village a level of development far above that experienced in the rest of the country. Here, for example, one of the first railway lines was built, to make the connection between the Mine and the old river port in Pomarão, which allowed the flow of ore through the Guadiana River. The first power plant in Alentejo was also built. And sustained by mining activity, there was a dynamic, modern local society with access to various services, such as a cinema theater or a hospital.
The end of the exploration, combined with the lack of adequate rehabilitation after the closure of the exploration, as well as the abandonment and subsequent vandalization of the remaining heritage, dictated the progressive decay of the territory, consummated in population exodus, ruin and the enormous environmental liability of the entire former mining area."