© Jorge das Neves

© Jorge das Neves

Marinho de Pina

Bibliotera, 2022
Books, bookshelves

This collective curatorship project is a library-in-construction that will travel from Coimbra to Malafo, in Guinea-Bissau, to be hosted by Abotcha Mediatheque. The books, in permanent cataloguing and disarray, are accompanied by readings, debates, performances, reflections on writing, oral literature, authorship, production of knowledge, circulation, appropriation of knowledges and the very concept of library and its conflicts.

In the absence of formal libraries and writing, oral thought was always able, as detected by Mamoussé Diagne, to preserve and transmit knowledge. As a seldom valued practice, orality has a weight in the lives and history of many people. Which is why Amadou Hampâté Bâ’s words — ‘When an elder dies a library goes up in flame’ — still ring so true. Under the aegis of the word ‘abotcha’, which means ‘in the ground/in the earth’ in Balanta, Bibliotera aims at illustrating non-vertical modes of knowledge-building and book-gathering
as roots that communicate and spur spontaneous associations.

Words draw the most fantastical and naked ideas; books open up the world; libraries are machines that bend time, crossing alternative epochs and futures. Words draw the most fantastical and naked ideas; books open up the world; libraries are machines that bend time, crossing the past, the various presents (both recent and to come), as well as alternative futures. They bend space, transferring us to other cultures or to our very core. They bend dreams, turning us into medium readers of other minds and the scrutinizers of infinite realities. Libraries are animistic machines that allow us to talk with the dead and absorb their wisdom.

Bibliotera is a library without bounds, a library for sharing and attention.

Filipa, Marta, Marinho