Anozero – Bienal de Coimbra

Anozero – Bienal de Coimbra

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Anozero - Bienal de Coimbra
Anozero has been recognised as Portugal’s most important contemporary art biennial, with an average of 90,000 visitors to each edition. Initially created to promote a reflection on the classification of the University of Coimbra, Alta and Sofia as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013, the Biennial proposes a confrontation between contemporary art and cultural heritage, exploring the risks and multiple possibilities associated with the latter.

Anozero is, therefore, an action programme for the city that systematically questions the territory in which it is located to contribute to constructing an active and transformative cultural epoch.

The Global South’s artists, curatorial, and social practices have been brought into this debate by the biennial, amplified by the convergent programme and educational service promoted by Anozero. The name Anozero was chosen to represent the idea of the possibility of renewing— every two years—a necessarily updated and dynamic new cycle of reflection.

The University of Coimbra 
The University of Coimbra is one of the oldest in Europe, founded in 1290. For nearly 500 years, it was the only Portuguese-speaking university in the world (including Brazil and Portuguese-speaking African countries). As such, it has had enormous influence over a vast territory, an influence recognised by UNESCO when it classified it as a World Heritage Site. 

Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Nova 
On a hill on the left bank of the river Mondego, this gigantic building was finished in the 17th century to house the Franciscan women’s order—the Poor Clares—and to house the remains of Queen Isabel, wife of Denis of Portugal, the founder of the University of Coimbra. After the extinction of the religious orders in Portugal in the 19th century, it was handed over to the Portuguese state and was used for a century as a military barracks.


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