Model of Jamaika
Beginning in the mid-1980s, large numbers of people from Portugal’s newly independent African colonies migrated to Bairro de Vale de Chícharos, more commonly known as “Bairro da Jamaika”, on the outskirts of Lisbon. Seeking safety and economic stability, these arrivals – from Angola, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe and other African nations, alongside a small population of Roma – appropriated and inhabited the area to create a thriving, albeit unauthorised, community.
‘Model of Jamaika’ presents a 1:10 scale, walk-in model of the neighbourhood’s recently demolished Bloco 10. The installation narrates some of the residents’ ongoing disputes with private landowners and local authorities, while presenting aspects of their everyday lives and still-unfolding future.
The model is an “anchor” generating further conversation around the neighbourhood. It is supplemented with a public programme of debates, performances and screenings addressing racism, marginalised art and the question of policies on resettlement processes.
Model of Jamaika (2021) was presented at maat in the context of the exhibition X is not a small country (18/03–06/09/2021), curated by Aric Chen, with Martina Muzi.
Concept: Paulo Moreira, with Chão – Oficina de Etnografia Urbana and José Sarmento Matos
Coordination: Paulo Moreira
Project: Paulo Moreira Architectures (Paulo Moreira, Hermínio Santos, Joana Graça, Mario Martínez)
Model: Arte Leite
Chronology: Chão – Oficina de Etnografia Urbana
Text: Residents’ assembly of Bairro 6 de Maio (Amadora), Bairro da Torre (Loures), Bairro da Jamaika (Seixal), Quinta da Fonte (Loures), with support by Habita, Gestual, Chão, Paróquia de Camarate, Secretariado diocesano de Lisboa da pastoral dos ciganos
Manuscript: Maria Cesaltina das Neves
Graphic design: Pê
Photography: José Sarmento Matos
Videos / Interviews: Alda Pontes, Arioste Mandinga, Aurora Coxi, Asmir Djonis Bull, Diego Coxi, Edna Nazaré, Ivone Maxima, Leopoldo Pereira, Lurdes Pontes, Manuela Pedro, Naide Jordão, Roberto Cravid, Telma Reis.
Video and Edition: Gersiley Sousa, José Sarmento Matos.
Music: Kid Robinn
Aknowledgements: Associação de Desenvolvimento Social de Vale de Chícharos and
Salimo Mendes (in memoriam)