Stones and the energy of transmutation 

Pedreira and Isabel Carvalho


Leonorana, Isabel Carvalho

Pedreira was started by Caro Parrinha, Irina Pereira, Rebeca Letras and Reina Del Mar (→ 1), who describe it as an arts platform for producing and sharing work, and as a collective “manifesto” that extends far beyond its physical setting: a warehouse in the Campanhã area of Porto. The project, initially begun in 2020 during the pandemic, has since acted as a network to organise events, host arts residencies and organise boundary-pushing experimental workshops and roundtables, with the ultimate aim of stimulating artistic production outside established arts circuits. The way they operate is based on the principles of healthy codependence and is structured around being welcoming, providing mutual aid and care, empowering each of its members, challenging reductive ways of thinking, and putting their transfeminist principles into practice. As long as it has existed, be it as a platform for creative endeavours or as a work and social space, Pedreira has been kept alive by the collective efforts of the countless individuals who have contributed in some way or another, each lending their diverse ideas and perspectives. Everyone involved has been united by a drive to question the dominant social and cultural apparatus, and to forgo individualism and work toward building a communitarian utopia. While the people who run Pedreira are very clear about what they see as the project’s goals, Pedreira stubbornly refuses to be pinned down, choosing to distinguish itself by being as fluid and open-minded as possible. When we talk about love and friendship in this interview, terms sometimes used rather loosely, we are careful to understand them as things that demand dedication, respect and attentiveness to the feelings of everyone involved. Pedreira also adopts a critique of modern technology in how they run their events, with concerns about device surveillance and the technology’s impact on mental health playing a central role.

  • (1) A brief biographical note for each interviewee is given at the end of this interview. 

Isabel Carvalho  

How did the Pedreira project start? It began during the pandemic – during lockdown, is that right? What initially drove you to come together in this space and begin ​​organising events?


The Pedreira warehouse as a space was set up in mid-2020 as a concrete political response to the individualism and egocentrism made rampant by the liberal-capitalist “cistem” (→ 2), a system which makes living in a city as a creative almost impossible unless you are privileged and/or come from a non-minority background. We are driven by the desire to build a space where it’s possible to controvert the norms of individual ownership and authorship, one where we reassess traditional forms of representation and living, one where we’re able to challenge cisgender hegemony and somehow throw off the shackles society places on us. We want our collective to be a place where caregiving is encouraged and is a shared responsibility, where people are encouraged to be thoughtful, and where we are free to develop an inclusive, neutral way of communicating with each other. Likewise, we want it to be a place that fosters a certain kind of productive friction, allows for critique and places a high value on mutual care in contrast with the individualism and patriarchal hegemony ingrained in a flawed social and political system.

  • (2) “Cistem” is used here to denote systems grounded in cisgenderism.

Isabel Carvalho 

What’s behind the choice of the name Pedreira (which means “stone quarry” in Portuguese)? I figured the name functioned as a way of drawing a metaphorical parallel between the way cities are built (from raw materials harvested through extraction, unearthing materials from underground through quarrying) and how high-brow institutional cultures sustain themselves through an equivalent extraction from the margins, or undergrounds, of cultural production. However, in your case, being underground doesn’t mean you’re not rigorous – you clearly put a lot of care into ensuring there’s a solid theoretical foundation underpinning your practice. If what happens in your space is a kind of raw material, it is so because you see the intrinsic value in the process in and of itself without feeling overly pressured to smooth out the rough edges and polish it in a way that would make it acceptable to the mainstream. Have I got that right?


Constructing metaphors and connecting disparate concepts in thought-provoking ways are deeply woven into our experimental creative philosophy. But the idea for Pedreira arose initially from something else. It came from our interest in the idea of seeing stone itself as a kind of immaterial fiction, as something defined by its relationship to an exploitative mechanised mining industry. This got us thinking about how we might carve out a “quarry” of a different breed, where the exchanges weren’t capitalistic or based on the extraction of raw materials but instead on our own sense of (im)materiality. The Pedreira project began when we ​​found ourselves without anywhere to live or make work, as a small air pocket that allowed us to keep going. From the start, we wanted it to expand beyond the confines of the warehouse, though we didn’t know then what shape it might take. In Porto and across Portugal, we’ve seen runaway property inflation that has made almost everywhere wholly unaffordable, and living in the warehouse was the option we chose. Over time, quite organically, it took shape as a collective, comprised of the four of us who moved in initially and then later by all the others who came along. With the combined help and effort of more friends than we could count, it has become somewhere people can come to share and cultivate friendships, have fun and experiment, a refuge for people without anywhere to stay, an artist’s residence, and a studio space. What defines it is a specific shared approach, a drive to chip away (→ 3) at a kind of stone, less physical perhaps than conceptual, in order to carve out a space where something utopian can happen and we can enjoy a shared, communal form of existence within the confines of the city.

  • (3) If any readers visit our warehouse, “escascar”, which means “chip away” or “peel” in Portuguese, is the internet password, just so you know. 

Isabel Carvalho

I asked why you called the project Pedreira, given everything you do in the space is so fluid and process-oriented. And maybe I was seeing a contradiction where there was none, and it was a silly question. It made me think of the beautiful chunks of fake rock you have in the room where I was first welcomed in when I came to visit. On the surface, the rocks look like they’d be tough and heavy, but really, they have very little weight to them at all. Which makes me wonder if playing around with the idea of materiality is important to you as a group.


As we said earlier, we really like these sorts of incongruities or juxtapositions, and they are often a source of inspiration for us. Since the beginning, we’ve wanted to explore precisely these kinds of discordance, and this is part of what motivates our work which experiments with different forms of transmutation, an approach where everything can always also be something else or at the least be seen from a different angle –​​​​ and this also comes out in the work we do collaboratively, which is pretty chaotic but which we nonetheless get a lot of pleasure out of. Collectives like ours run at quite a different tempo to society at large, but we think the collective model is an excellent way for artists to make sure they are able to keep their heads above water, both emotionally and economically, in the current climate. One of the most significant benefits we get from working this way is seeing how different people’s ideas and, indeed, disagreements can come together and synthesise into something both cohesive and inherently fluid and experimental. ​​​​This sort of process usually isn’t possible if you’re not connected with other people.


Isabel Carvalho 

On your website, which presents itself as being permanently “under construction”, you define yourselves as a “manifesto”. When you use the word, do you mean to indicate that you want to place more value on motives and principles than on final products? You mentioned the ethical principles that guide your practice earlier. Could you speak a little bit about them? 



Pedreira’s methodology has been developed through collective experience and understanding in a rough and ready way, driven by a ​​DIY ethos. The experimental hybrid sessions ​​we develop are performance-driven and are a practical way of encouraging collaboration, and aren’t necessarily geared towards ending up with something polished at the end of them. And this, in essence, is our guiding methodology – collaborative work, hacking, experimentation, all part of a dissident transfeminist practice. We value the journey, the process, as something perpetually ongoing; we try to avoid foregone conclusions. The fact our website is permanently “under construction” – constantly changing, always subject to revision, never perfect – is a manifestation of this.

We think the collective model is an excellent way for artists to make sure they are able to keep their heads above water, both emotionally and economically, in the current climate.

Isabel Carvalho 

The four of you work collaboratively, but you also seem to form deep personal connections with the other people who pass through this place (while we were talking at our first meeting, we were joined by at least three other people). It’s easy to see the level of synergy between people here, one that nonetheless manages not to stifle the individual personalities in the group. Perhaps you even see the opposite happen when you’re living in such close proximity to others. Do you think Pedreira has played an important role in bringing together people who may not otherwise have had the opportunity to meet? 



Understanding what Pedreira was (and is) took time for us, and it remains a constant work in progress. Although we think of ourselves ​​as the people who plan and manage certain aspects of the project, the contribution of everyone who passes through, gravitates towards the space and is involved in its work is pivotal and cannot be overstated. The kind of relationships we have with them depends on the person and might be more personal or involved in some cases than others. But they all contribute to the energy of the space, the project as a collaboration, and how we do things, through sharing, like a family. So yes, these synergies are an integral part of everything we do. 

When it comes to the idea of individuality vs. the collective, we’ve often asked ourselves how we can better recognise the part of the individual as it relates to the group and how to be conscious of when some personalities might take up more space to the detriment of others. We’ve been reflecting on this, and we see this blurring of the lines between individual and group as inseparable from the sort of work the collective does, that is, as a cross-contamination of personalities felt as a positive thing by everyone involved.​​ We each give a lot of ourselves to the project, which feeds into the strength of our collective identity and the energy of our experiences, and in return, everyone who takes part in the experiences and experiments gets something out of it for themselves. These are the cycles of energy, of giving and receiving, which we hope will keep our small community growing.


Isabel Carvalho 

I find the way you approach technology quite interesting and indeed instructive. You said the issue of how to make the best use of technology as part of Pedreira has provoked a lot of reflection and debate, and that you’ve had particular trouble over certain issues, like whether or not you should use social networks run by Meta. But to outside eyes, you maintain a firm line on the issue, especially regarding surveillance and data protection. And while you’ve organised hacking workshops and events, it’s not a ‘high-tech’ environment – the fact that you don’t assume technological literacy is quite liberating. How does this reflect your overall attitude towards contemporary culture? Can certain ways of using technology lead to greater inclusivity and ethical responsibility? And there’s something else I’d add to that too, might limits (even moderate ones) on technology have mental health benefits? I’m thinking here, for example, about questions surrounding how much people should share and how they choose to represent themselves online and on social media. 



We’ve been doing some critical thinking about the current economic system’s relationship with unfettered technological advance, laundered out and requisitioned by those at the top of power. The dystopic, alienated character of contemporary society is shown nowhere else better than in the hours we spend scrolling on our phones, on the anxiety-inducing, screen-mediated interpersonal relationships we maintain, in our chronic fear of missing out, but also fear of turning up, in the economic precarity built into the system, the snare of hyper-connectivity and our total immersion in the dense currents of images and content that sequester all of our attention and nigh on threaten to totally consume us. Assuming technological progress is positive means ignoring all the abuse, exploitation, oppression and capitalist hyper-surveillance built into the technology industry and the redundant market exchange system. The present needs to be more human and less digital, and we need to prioritise bonds of friendship, mutual care, sharing and love over the relations determined by power and the market. 

In our projects, we aim to game the system as much as possible. While we don’t neglect the value of online collectives and the tools they make available, we prioritise face-to-face collaboration and experimentation to evade as much as possible the influences of hegemonic power, digital control and monetised procrastination.​​ We’re trying to carve out a space for the utopian to counter the apathy, anxiety and disillusion people feel about resisting power and building an alternative to the current system. We know we’re not perfect and still haven’t become entirely independent of these technologies. But since it’s something we’re interested in and concerned with, we do try our best to question and be aware of the ways we exploit and are being exploited by these technologies. 

​​​​​You also mentioned the use of hardware and image and sound technologies. . . when we do use them, which is often and for a variety of reasons, we try to take a DIY, homebrew approach – and part of that is being aware we aren’t experts, and that we don’t have access to all the possibilities these tools offer. But that’s been a liberating thing for us – not to assume we need to be experts or to be adept in the field to utilise these tools in our collaborative projects in unconventional ways, to hack with them and use them to broaden the scope of our experimentation. It’s something we could never have done if we were too afraid of failure or of not having the necessary skills, and not being afraid to fail or try things out as amateurs is something we actually thin​​k is vital here.

Assuming technological progress is positive means ignoring all the abuse, exploitation, oppression and capitalist hyper-surveillance built into the technology industry and the redundant market exchange system.

Isabel Carvalho 

You told me about how much work goes into your programming and events. I’d like to refer to your website again, which says your exhibitions are staged in a “performance format”. I can see how a more traditional exhibition format wouldn’t fit in with how you operate. There’s a considerable degree of fluidity in the kinds of activity you run; you practice a lot of care and attention to detail while somehow managing not to go overboard. The Roda de Sample event you hosted [26 November 2022] was meant to start at a specific time, but then there was some delay in setting up, and straight away I saw various posts on your social media telling me I should come along a little later than expected. It might seem insignificant, but it demonstrates a rare thoughtfulness in how you conduct yourselves. But back to the format of your events. How do they fit in amongst what’s being done in other exhibition spaces in Porto? I’d say Pedreira is quite unique, and I haven’t encountered any other spaces like yours in the past few years. Are there any models for the format you employ? 



A degree of fluidity arises naturally from the significant number of people who have a hand in the project. Even if we do have a defined curatorial approach when it comes to our events (both with the projects we run and those we host in the space), we all have quite different interests. This makes things more interesting, and our varied, fluid approach can respond to and feed the many interests we share. Nonetheless, we always try to produce something with a critical bent and which has the capacity to be disruptive. Sure, we try to be thoughtful, but then we’re not always as thoughtful as we’d like. Even using social networks (especially those controlled by Meta) to transmit ‘urgent’ information gives us a lot of pause for thought. We still need to figure out how we can expand our networks and our space without using the very means we hope one day we can abandon completely. Sometimes, there’s also this fear of overstating our position on the issue and undermining it just by repeating it over and over again – in any case, we’re happy that you and others have recognised what we’re trying to do. 

As regards the format of our activities, it is the result of a close interconnection of many different elements. What we are doing now, the place and space and cultural moment in which we are working, has its important particularities and feeds into who we want and don’t want to be. And the same applies to those who came before us, working alongside us, and who might come after us. When Pedreira was still in its infancy, we felt Porto, a city with a very bourgeois character and a very narrow arts and culture scene in terms of venues and audiences, really needed a different kind of space or collective, one with different goals in mind. ​​​​We feel there’s this hyper-normative, reductive energy to the scene here, which makes being different tricky if you’re not to be reduced to a market fetish or novelty.

By the same token, there are projects we admire being set up now and others that came along before ​​​​we did, some quite different to ours, like Gralha (→ 4), ​​Aleste, the Arcana Collective (→ 5), Epifania​​ (→ 6), and Túnel (→ 7). 

​​​​​In many cases we admire them not for who they are or what they’ve grown into, but instead for the vibe they bring, what kind of actions they do, their programming and, more generally, the sort of energy they give off. We’d like to stress our influences aren’t limited to these examples; there is a vast array of other things that feed into what we do and create, and drive us to keep doing things our particular way. We do feel as if we’re different when it comes to the arts scene here, to the city itself, where there aren’t many others doing something similar to us. But that only motivates us to continue with our project of widening what people think is possible in the current social environment.

  • (4) A non-profit community organisation in Porto that runs various solidarity and social action initiatives and some culture projects.

  • (5) A DJ collective based in Porto.

  • (6) A collective of artists and creatives from immigrant backgrounds. Its mission involves promoting diversity and critical thought in the arts and elevating marginalised voices.

  • (7) An interdisciplinary platform for artistic and cultural production and self-managed community space in Porto.

Isabel Carvalho  

On the performance format of your exhibitions, could you talk about your relationship with your visitors and audiences? Does the word “audience” even make sense in this context? As you were speaking, it occurred to me that it doesn’t make sense to mark off the performers from the audience at your events – everyone is actively involved, even if specific individuals might take a more active or passive role. What do you think? Could you talk a bit about how you involve attendees in your events? 



In our creative process – which in any case usually involves collaborating with people outside Pedreira – and in the way we present our work to visitors, we take encouraging people to connect with each other to be an important element. We’ve followed this to different extents, depending on the type of work we’re presenting and the nature of the event. Particularly in our hybrid sessions, we try to think of all attendees not as either passive or active players but as contributors … We like to imagine the space as being contaminated, disrupted and constituted from many energies and perspectives rather than as something to merely contemplate in a detached, private way. We believe the connections ​​​​made here create a more exciting experience for everyone involved and bring a new dimension to the space and the encounters that unfold inside it.  

For example, in a hybrid event that was held in the Pedreira warehouse, Spa Adiós Problemas, we transformed the warehouse to create a spa experience – with food being brought around and using various olfactive stimuli, music and other sound triggers, with areas to read and listen ... We weren’t sure at all how whoever came would react to this, whether they’d accept and embrace the setting we’d built or how long they’d be willing to hang about in a place where a lot was going on at once, even if we made sure to incorporate quiet spaces and opportunities to sit and reflect on the experience. We were all surprised at how much energy people brought to the event, which turned out to be even better and more impactful than we’d anticipated. 

Isabel Carvalho 

I only got to attend the Roda de Sample event and signed up for it (which I thought you had to do) all by myself since it seems most of my friends were reluctant to come when I showed them the publicity you’d put out, because it wasn’t entirely clear what exactly the event would involve. In my case, not knowing was the thing that made me want to sign up. As you said, being unpredictable is a part of Pedreira’s MO, and this itself involves incorporating a degree of improvisation. I imagine that this might cause some friction with people accustomed to the standard arts and culture format, people who aren’t necessarily inclined to being thrust into doing something unfamiliar to them. 

This partly makes me think this element of vagueness in the information you disseminate might be calculated on your part, either because you feel revealing too much is unnecessary or because you want to or it is a counterpoint to traditional forms of event publicity.  

What I took from your somewhat cryptic way of publicising your events is that, in your case, publicity also presents an opportunity to construct a certain kind of fiction, is another vehicle for invention. Am I right in thinking so? 



It’s an area where we’ve been receiving some criticism for a while, but it’s something we put a lot of thought into. The reason we don’t like being too literal or going into too much detail when we communicate about a project is that we want to leave things open-ended and allow for the events to be encounters where we’re free to fashion a story or narrative to which everyone contributes, and by that token, we aren’t able to say what is or is not going to happen before the event takes place. What we’re doing is inviting people to collaborate on something, and we don’t know any better than they do what form and texture it might end up taking. We want this initial unfamiliarity to be the catalyst for people to engage with others through images, language or other conceptual means. Ultimately, this choice is in keeping with how we generally work in our art or research – a method that stimulates creativity precisely by leaving things open-ended. 

Obviously there’s the impulse to cultivate a certain amount of mystery, which means we have begun feeling some pressure to come ready to surprise people in some way, which is what they expect. This can be a challenging expectation to live up to, and this element of surprise can end up being predictable itself. Nonetheless, in the current (primarily white and Eurocentric) cultural environment, which mainly comprises events where attendants know exactly what’s going to happen and where each detail has already been foreseen, it feels important to cultivate a certain level of mystery, a sense of unresolvedness in the things we do. We think the people who follow us or who end up stumbling upon us by chance do so for a reason, one that tends to mean they are disposed to immersing themselves in and therefore gaining something from a certain kind of atmosphere. So yes, how we publicise our events is a way of demonstrating how we think about and conduct our practice, and you’re correct to say it’s something we do consciously and deliberately. 


Isabel Carvalho 

Inclusivity is a key part of how you conduct yourselves as a group, with a lot placed on diversity and being open to all. I’ve heard you speak about your commitment to having a higher number of people from as many backgrounds as possible take part, which isn’t just worthy for its own sake but also helps to shake up a culture sphere so dominated by white cishet men. How have you gone about doing this? 

You also mentioned the project wouldn’t be possible without outside help. What sort of groups do you typically partner with? 



You’re talking about something really important to us, how we think of our project, and the sorts of avenues or openings we’ve sought to establish and build upon. We’re glad that’s your reading of what we’re doing, and we hope others see it too. 

Here, we’re motivated by a desire to reflect and be self-critical about who and what we are as individuals and as a collective. We all know how important it is to acknowledge our privileges and address the issues you’ve mentioned in our practice. We do so even when we know that most of the institutions actually in a position to meaningfully redress issues with access and representation, either in the art world or in society as a whole, are doing much too little to address them.  

So, being inclusive is very important for each of us and for Pedreira as a whole, both as an arts collective and as a culture and social support hub. We know that we can’t yet guarantee a hundred per cent safe space for everyone, and being aware of this is what motivates us to keep trying.  


Isabel Carvalho 

I’d like to know more about what you do to make Pedreira a welcoming and, as far as you can, safe space for people in the LGBTQI+ community. 



Below are some (but not all) of the things we do to make our space as inclusive as possible: 

  • The use of inclusive language in our external communications and at events, but also amongst ourselves, because we are around people who use gender-neutral pronouns in both Portuguese and English. Of course, even more important is that we follow this practice in our personal lives, which means not assuming anyone’s gender or sexuality based on how they present physically. 

  • Paying attention to the people who inhabit the same communities as us, learning from our own experiences and friendships, not being afraid to talk to each other when we have doubts about something, and doing the relevant reading in these fields both so we’re more informed and so that we can advocate for these issues publicly.  

  • We endeavour to make our space as physically welcoming as possible. This means ensuring the warehouse space is both accessible and comfortable space for our visitors. This includes having gender-neutral toilets, free tampons and sanitary towels for people who menstruate, giving out free condoms and distributing leaflets that tell people about what facilities we have and how they should behave. We also indicate our own pronouns and invite people not to assume the genders and sexualities of those who visit the space. We are still working on making our space more accessible for people who have limited mobility since, for the moment, you have to go up some stairs to get into the warehouse, but we hope to find a solution to that soon. 

  • We endeavour to establish partnerships with LGBTQI+ groups and support their initiatives as a way of contributing to fostering the inclusion and visibility of people in the community. 

  • In short, we are constantly looking for new strategies and things we can do to make our space more inclusive and welcoming. We think continued commitment to these causes is vital in order to lay the groundwork for a more just, equal world. 

Isabel Carvalho 

Clearly, you each put a lot of energy into Pedreira. I bet it’s satisfying to see things come together in a space like the one you have where you’re so close and supportive of one another, but still, it must be hard work sometimes. When you said you often focus more on others than yourselves, it made me want to know what you do to look after yourselves and how you manage to attend to all your own needs, be they economic, emotional or psychological. 



There’s quite a lot to unpack there. Managing the warehouse day-to-day is often a demanding job in terms of resources and time, which gives us less time to do the things we really want to do, make work, receive people in the space and have experiences with them, organise certain events, etc... ​​Money can also be an issue, which in fact goes hand in hand with the managerial aspect since the space we use has several costs associated with it, and besides that, there’s the aspect of managing people and their emotions. We’re always trying to rethink and work out new ways of approaching these things, which do sometimes weigh on us and can even be quite overwhelming, and we likewise are frequently testing out new ways of organising the space itself to make it a better place for those of us who live here and with the future in mind, in the hope that we can use what we’ve learned to make things work better and better as time goes on. 

Art and artists without the backing of generational wealth have and continue to experience periods of acute economic precarity, and we’re no exception. But the fact that each of us has jobs outside the project to support ourselves means we’re able to bring ​​​​a certain lightness to the space that we might not otherwise, since it’s marked off as a place to be creative and a space for friendship. But it does take time and energy nonetheless, and we aren’t always able to split the workload equally, and sometimes we’re financially better (or worse) off than others, which, depending on the situation, trickles down to everything else. 

​​​Above all, and this doesn’t just apply to Pedreira, we think communication is key– honest, open communication, where we can acknowledge when one of us might be worn out and might need some time to rest, for example. The truth is we’re all quite different, but nonetheless, we get on and feed off each other quite organically. We try to foster the principles of friendship and a shared value system in how we relate to each other and manage the whole project. We put a lot of love into this, and we feel that we receive it in return and that there’s much that’s rewarding about it, but obviously, we must not romanticise how difficult it is to live and work as part of an arts organisation, and an independent one at that, in Portugal in 2023. Since we don’t define who we are or what we do in a very concrete or precise way, it can also be difficult for us to access certain kinds of financial support (we’re neither a theatre company nor professional performers or dancers, nor are we musicians with a clearly defined project). And if we do, we have to manage pretty tight budgets usually designed to be given to individual artists, not collectives like ours. And finally, the most important thing for us, at least on an emotional level, is the love we have for each other, our friendships and the care we provide each other, combined with a lot of patience and a lot of communication – after all, we are the bedrock of this quarry, Pedreira, that we are slowly carving out for ourselves. 

CARO PARRINHA is a visual and sound artist, art director and project manager. Her professional and artistic practice takes an intersectional approach, exploring immateriality in the physical realm and in oral expression in the search to dream up a new, mythical kind of language. She instigates and investigates altered states of consciousness through listening sessions and sound art, design and immersive installations. She is also a co-director and manager for the Softrock project.


IRINA PEREIRA is an artist and graphic designer. She is interested in various forms of communications media, with a focus on language and the fabrication of narratives. She has developed her work as part of collectives and through various collaborations to interrogate current norms around how we live and relate to others.


REBECA LETRAS is a non-binary artist working in ceramics, performance, video and sound art. They explore the notion of the feedback loop as a means for radical forms of creation, with the agglomeration of feedback in a closed circuit as fuelling productive self-understanding and group dialogue. Their work interrogates binaries of every kind, capitalist hyper-productivity and modern-day consumerism through rituals of repetition and meditation. 


REINA DEL MAR explores subversive life practices (or cultural hacking) through her curatorial and artistic work and as an organiser of arts events. She looks into the involvement of the digital sphere in the construction and policing of identities and is also interested in modding, kitsch, hydro- and eco-feminism and the use of sound in therapeutic contexts. She works in collaboration with various projects as an arts programmer, including the Tremor Festival in the Azores and the STAND PROJECT, an arts project hosted in car showrooms in Lisbon. 


Drawing: © Clara Batalha / Isabel Carvalho, 2023.

Translation: Vita Dervan.


Leonorana magazine presents “We Care A Lot”, a series of conversations that place mental health at centre stage in understanding contemporary culture. Produced in partnership with maat for maat extended, this special issue of the magazine bears witness, through dialogues in different voices, to experiences of community, mutual care and happy interdependence currently being practised in the fields of art and culture. Recognising the breadth and nuances of contemporary thinking about care, this series – conceived by Isabel Carvalho and boasting the participation of Susana Caló, Nina Paim, Andrea Magalhães, the Pedreira collective and the Kosmicare collective – seeks to shine a spotlight on ways of living and thinking collectively, and allows us to see the ways mental health care practice asks us (and this is a good thing) to exist in relation to other beings, be they human or otherwise.


The name Leonorana comes from Ana Hatherly’s book Um Calculador de Improbabilidades (Quimera, 2001) and the magazine is a tribute to this author. It resumes and updates the central focus of her work, namely concerning the study and experimental practice of the complementarity between verbal and visual languages. Each issue of the annual magazine addresses a different theme, which is defined in dialogue with a guest editor, with whom the editorial methodology and orientation are also outlined. These are proposed to guest authors, who accept to share their interests, processes and accomplished works. The essay is the preferred genre as it is the one that is most adequate to the translation of the thought in formation and that best allows to undertake speculative approaches.