PCHP at the I Fórum dos Luso Talentos 2012

The Observatório dos Luso-Descendentes (OLD), the State Secretary of Portuguese Communities, and a range of public and private entities, organized the first Fórum dos Luso Talentos (Forum of Portuguese Talent), in the beautiful city of Porto, on November 22-24. This meeting of creative minds brought together a group of Portuguese descendants and recent emigrants from around the world – Portugal, Canada, United States, France, England, Luxembourg, Denmark, Brazil, South Africa, Macau, Taiwan, Japan – who have distinguished themselves in their own fields, to 1) discuss ways in which to enhance and facilitate the professional, economic, and other cultural relations between Portugal and its diaspora, as well as intra diasporas; and 2) develop interesting collaborative projects in a range of areas, such as visual arts, literature, music, film, gastronomy, clubs and associations, business, and academic research. This event was a great example of civil society, government and business community coming together to find solutions on a global scale for some of the problems facing Portuguese national and diasporic communities. Despite the variety of experiences, interests, and practices of the participants, there was impressive consistency in every one of the recommendations and projects proposed to the Secretary of State: Portugal’s civil society, government and business community, need to connect with the various talented Portuguese emigrants and descendants working outside of its territorial borders with a personal interest and/or professional focus on its culture, society and economy, and build on the exceptional work that they have done individually in their own countries of residence. In short, we need to connect, communicate, coordinate, and collaborate on a global scale, in a pragmatic manner.

Gilberto Fernandes, co-founder and co-director of the Portuguese Canadian History Project, was one of the guest participants of this Forum. He talked about the work done by the PCHP to preserve archival records, facilitate and disseminate research on Portuguese immigrants and their descendants in Canada. The keywords “synergy”, “creativity”, and “pragmatism”, expressed repeatedly in this event, fit squarely with the PCHP’s working model and objectives, which was proposed as an example to follow in other Portuguese communities by the Fórum’s ‘academic research working group’ – Gilberto Fernandes, Carolina Marçalo (OLD), and Sofia Afonso (University of Minho). The PCHP and the OLD will follow up with the Secretary of State on this proposal, which aims to create a virtual museumdigital database of Portuguese migration and diaspora that would bring together online collections from various archives and universities from different parts of the world.

Gilberto Fernandes congratulates all the organizers and participants in the Fórum dos Luso Talentos, and especially Emmanuelle Afonso, the dynamic President of the Observatório dos Luso-Descendentes, for putting together such a wonderful, enlightening, and productive event. It was a great honour to be invited and a privilege to be surrounded by so many talented and good-willed people. Many thanks!

Veja um breve vídeo realizado por Nélson Ponta-Garça aqui

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