WAITING FOR THE SECOND VICTORY
In 2011 UNESCO will make a decision on the Application filed to include Fado in its Representative List of Non-Material Cultural Heritage of Mankind. We believe our Application stands a good chance of being successfully evaluated, as its main capital is the large consensus formed in Portugal to launch it.
All partisan forces unanimously approved it, in Lisbon’s Town Council and Municipal Assembly and at Parliament, and it received the committed support of the Government and the high patronage of the President of the Republic. The Application overcame all partisan divides, on behalf of the collective cause of protecting and promoting Portuguese culture. It mobilised the joint effort of all institutions with archives and museums that enable the preservation of the History of Fado in the last two centuries. It was supported by all cultural and grass-roots community centres famous for their “fadista” tradition and the professional associations representing musicians, authors and publishers related to Fado, as well as by dozens of individual key figures of the Fado universe. It attracted, inside and outside the universities, the interest of researchers who compiled historical recordings, prepared re-prints of studies sold out for a long time, organised anthologies of Fado tunes, lyrics and iconography. As a result of it, musicians and publishers had to rise to the challenge of simultaneously protecting the memory of old-time Fado and the future continuity of the creative renovating energy that always characterised it.
First and foremost, however, this Application has helped us re-discover, know and better understand and consolidate, all together, the key role played by Fado as regards our vision of ourselves, the consciousness of our identity and our ability to simultaneously be who we are and stay open to the World at all times. When UNESCO give their approval to the Application, as we sincerely hope, it will be just a second victory, as we have already won the first one ourselves.
Rui Vieira Nery