Building Visibility, Touring the Nation
Arlindo Horta (CRIA/ISCTE-IUL/NOVA-FCSH)
Paper short abstract:
Visibility has devolved into a significant, and ubiquitous, contemporary capital. This paper explores its continuous performance in the context of place-making rethoric within a famous portuguese TV show that travels across the territory.
Paper long abstract:
This paper, based on current research, builds upon the idea of "visibility" as a significant contemporary capital (Dayan 2013, Heinich 2012, Szendy 2017). "Somos Portugal" ("We Are Portugal") is a popular mainstream tv show, aired live every Sunday afternoon from a different place every week. It travels across the portuguese territory and it features popular music, videos promoting the region and interviews with local protagonists - ranging from local administration to local food producers, musicians and artisans. It's usually associated with local festivals and events which participate in the emblematization of specific items from those places. It is also a display of what is, nowdays, considered "popular culture" according to notions of a cosmopolitan elite. Based on ethnography conducted among the program's production team, this paper aims to analyze contemporary mechanisms that produce visibility, exploring the symbiotic ties between these local fairs and events and the circulation of this kind of tv shows. It will also address the connections between the need for this continuous performance of being visible and the inscription of these places in contemporary touristic circuits; the emergence of gastronomy as a central performative element in the fruition of these places; and the traffic of nationalist imaginaries among the political and the economic realms in the central mass media, in contrast with localist discourses and representations that refer to ideas of place-making within an imagined space-world.