ARCA EUAC — Escola Universitária das Artes de Coimbra
The village of Benfeita is made up of locals and nonconformists in love with the land and the region. Portuguese, English, German and Dutch all live here and sustain the dream of living in a village. Bucolic progressives who have crossed out the word ‘quit’ from the dictionary.
This cosmopolitanism on a microscale finds a meeting point of different qualities in the book, which belong to everyone and no one in particular. It is a reinforcement of personal and local identity in a portable object in which can appeal to anyone who’s from Benfeita but no longer lives there. A collaborative project whose aim is to populate Benfeita with the people who belong there.
The visit of the team to Benfeita highlighted aspects of village life that many would considerer lost, and that are captured in this book-object in a number of ways. The book is part of Benfeita and its community.
There is a connection between the object and the people in every sense, from the way they are allowed to continue to sew new pages into the book, to the way the photos are attached or the way in which people have left their mark through fingerprints. It’s a collaborative book to which new contributors can be added at any time, producing a narrative intended to be under permanent construction.
Book on 160g canson paper, cut into sheets of 24cm x 34cm, pressboard covers with alpaca skin in felt, Coptic bound, sewn with twine and curved needles. All information and graphic material that makes up the pages was collected in the village of Benfeita and worked manually.