ÁGUA VIVA

It’s almost five in the morning. And the light of the fainting dawn, 

cold blue steel and with the tang and tart sharp taste of 

the day being born from the dark. 

And that emerges upon on the surface of time, 

I livid too, I being born from the shadows, impersonal, 

I who am it.

Clarice Lispector, Água Viva, page 66

Dear friends, guests and participants,

Welcome to the Água Viva programme. We are extremely excited and inspired to take this journey with you into the deep water, where creatures are bold, sassy and experiment with wonders. We envisioned this programme during lockdowns while writing experimental letters to each other [a few were written from that magical garden seen in the poster] as a survival instinct. Today, we feel it is the right time to invite all of you to experiment collectively.

We are interested in how Clarice Lispector lived through her experimentation in writing, and her way of writing bounded our collective and shaped our perceptions within the last years. That’s why we would like to dedicate this programme to Clarice, her fierce way of experimentation with language and words, her relationship with writing which inspired us to challenge the institutional expectations of writing in English as our second language, especially in arts, where we bloom.

Água Viva means both living/bubbling water and jellyfish in Portuguese, yet left untranslated in many English translations of the book, as the title refers to Lispector’s understanding of writing time—out of conventional time, Água Viva is to be in now, to be present, with the stream and free. Hard to be categorized in any genre, Água Viva for us is experimentation, poetry, letter, painting, essay, a collection of stories, and a fluid journey between fiction and reality that fascinates us thoroughly.

We believe Água Viva is based on these motivations;

  • Discovering collective storytelling practices through a place, a dream, a sound, a memory
  • Embracing the courage and fierceness of writers like Clarice Lispector, who opened the gates for all
  • Importance of experimentation in arts and writings
  • The joy and urgency of the act of storytelling through writing
  • Importance of open-sourced, shared libraries and knowledge sources
  • In international arts writing, creating spaces with care for other Mother Tongues

The programme invites alternative writing methodologies, different languages, imaginary worlds, new words, and lost yet-to-be-discovered stories. Acknowledging the limits of the private libraries’ and English-dominant knowledge structures, we open these online spaces hoping to provide new ingredients for new ways of telling and moving stories. Collective Cukurcuma is looking forward to holding the space with you all, listening to your stories and experimenting collectively within the Água Viva programme that will continue for the next six months in digital and physical spaces.

Thank you!

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