Un update worth 7 months of my academia life

It looks like i’m making a habit out of long overdue posts and updates. The upside of this is: I’m constant in my overdue posts and updates. And that is something you can rely on!

Some good things happened while I was out of reach from my website, some are almost happening and others will continue to happen until the end of October. After the return from the latest mission in India (OGR Session project development, talks and cerimonial sessions;  a talk at Goa University for the project “Pensando Goa”) I engaged in the finalization of the co-authored book, by myself and Francisco Lameira, to be released very soon (keep posted) dedicated to the altarpieces in the ancient North Province in India (Daman, Diu and Bassein).

Last month, I was at the MSA Conference in Madrid, representing my research centre with the talk “Heritage Management in Post-colonial Goa in a crossroad of collective memories, past dilemmas and future challenges”, engaging also in a very productive social agenda with experts from different backgrounds, allowing me to aquire new and exciting knowledge.

This month: Leiden is calling. ICAS 11 is starting this next 16th July and i’ll be presenting my paper “Colonial Heritage in Post-colonial India: questions around heritage values, identity and preservation“.

I will also have the pleasure to be discussant at the panel “Sail/Canvas/Screen: Heritage Preservation and revorery across geographies and media” were Robert Parthesius – New York University Abu Dhabi, Alia Yunis – University of Amsterdam, Jonathan Sharfman – New York University Abu Dhabi, Vishvesh Kandolkar – Goa College of Architecture will be presenting they’re papers.

In the meantime, and while we all academics are waiting for answers relating to the submitted projects to FCT, i’ve started a diferent and exciting colaboration with the Portugal’s Constitutional Court until the end of October, to do one of the many things I know out to: colaborate in the organization of the Quadrilateral Meeting between Portugal, Spain, Italy and France. So, if you are around Lisbon or Leiden in the next days, you might just bump into me.

Until next time.


Outubro com sotaque

brazil-16-mapQuase de partida e já com a bagagem aviada, Outubro é mês de rumar a sul e a Oeste.

De 10 a 21 de Outubro estarei por “terras de Cabral” para palestras e conferências sobre arte e património da Índia Portuguesa.

Deixo-vos o convite para assistir, caso estejam por perto, aos eventos que terei o prazer de fazer parte e a convite de várias intituições (Programa de Pós-Graduação da Universidade Federal de Pelotas no Rio Grande do Sul, Museu de Arte Sacra de São Paulo) e igualmente integrada em projetos de investigação (projeto Pensando Goa na Universidade de São Paulo).


Universidade Federal de Pelotas (Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil) Colóquio Internacional Memória e Património


MÓNICA ESTEVES REIS Gestão de Patrimónios partilhados: da inevitabilidade do passado à contemporaneidade política. Articular memória e valores patrimoniais.





Museu de Arte Sacra de São Paulo, Café Teológico. Apresentação a cargo do Prof. Dr Jorge Luzio

MÓNICA ESTEVES REIS Produção Retabular na antiga Índia Portuguesa: as fontes, as contribuições artísticas e culturais e os desafios para a sua preservação.


19 OUTUBRO 2017, 10H15 III CONGRESSO INTERNACIONAL DO LIA – Laboratório de Interlocuções com a Ásia, Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas, Universidade de São Paulo


MÓNICA ESTEVES REIS Assim são os homens perante o problema do Universo. Os símbolos e a arte na obra de D. Propécia Correia-Afonso de Figueiredo (1881-1944).

On the move to Modern Moves

keep-calm-because-london-s-callingDuring the last summer I’ve received a special invitation from Ananya Jahanara Kabir to attend a Modern Moves Goa Research Cell meeting in London. This European Research Council Advanced Grant (ERC) project, studies the evolution of dances in their move from plantations to cities worldwide, and tracks the transnational developments, to break new ground in our understanding of modernity’s deep relationship to kinetic traces of ‘Africa’. The team investigates modernity, postcolonialism, and post-trauma by examining the global popularity of African-derived dance practices in a multi-lingual and inter-disciplinary research (checkout the project website here)

I’ve met Ananya in Goa, in one of my missions, and learning about each other came the invitation to present some of the findings from 10 years of research in India to the team in London. In this closed event, I’ll be talking about Altarpieces in India: from the Northern Province peculiarities to the invention of the baroque in Goa.

Part one: when two faiths collide The ancient Northern Province played an important role in the economic scenario of Portuguese India from the 16th century until at least the 18th century. Daman and Diu, geographically distant from Goa – the capital of the State of India – and Bassein – the nearest artistic production centre – sees the churches artistic panorama develop singularities worthy of analysis, with important signs of how artistic-cultural exchanges were created, giving us the most examples of hybrid representations from all the studied territories. Ornamental, figurative elements and also architectural elements are recreated in an attempt of approach to local art and its symbols of devotion. In the carving by local artists, the symbols of the local religions are transposed to an adaptation of the Christian decorative grammar, certainly in the attempt of explaining the gospel of a religion to those who were devotees of another, rooted in centuries of history, resulting in artistic-cultural hybridity.

Part two: A new light on Goan baroque A second look at the manuscripts, previous studies and architectural analyses of retable art integrated in the extensive inventory of altarpieces, allowed identification of three key elements involved in the creation of the Baroque in the altarpieces in Goan churches. They are the Theatines, a religious Order initially operating outside of the Padroado, the Grand Duke Cosimo III of Florence-Italy and Theatine Father Guarino Guarini. This new information about the artistic order for the altarpiece specimens of the early 18th century is significant since it puts in perspective the various dialogues of Portuguese India: artistic, cultural, economic and missionary evangelization. The Theatines, who began their missionary activity in Goa in 1640 without approval of the Portuguese Padroado succeeded, after some mishaps, in constructing the church of Divine Providence between 1656 and 1661. It was in c.1675 and in 1710 that two of the Baroque artistic identities in Goa, initial and final Baroque, emerge. These are exactly the dates of two work campaigns in the Theatines church. The altarpieces resulting from these campaigns are responsible for the establishment of a specific artistic taste in Goa, normalizing the artistic rule of their counterparts and forming the Goan retable art identity.


Summer in the City?

15894490958_d73e458d03_bSummer is here but despite the sunny invitation of lazy afternoons, beach and sun baths and friend reconnections, looks like I’m going to have a summer, not in the city, but in the cities. The song that is echoing in my brain (Summer In The City by The Lovin’ Spoonful) brings the promise that despite the heat it’ll be alright. I can live with that for now but check on me by the end of the month! My summer will be a good mix of long hours over the computer, conferences, travel, fieldwork and whatever time left I have is going straight to family time. Yes, before the summer ends I would have talked in 6 different events, travelled two continents and done a little bit more of fieldwork.

Bellow, I’ve broken down this information and presented it by date of the event. All extra information for each event can already be seen at this website Agenda |Conferences&Lectures

Upcoming events:

And now, back to writing, but I will try to keep this website up-to-date as I go. All off you that can attend the events please do so, they are full of interesting people with very interesting ideas, projects and research data that i’m also looking for to learn.


Diálogos do Sagrado

2017-03-21_152615Amanhã, pelas 18h30 no Museu do Oriente, estarei a palestrar acerca das máscaras rituais Bhuta do Sul de Karnataka, integrado no ciclo de conferencias “A Índia Visual” que pretende pensar a cultura visual da Índia como ponto de partida para a reflexão de diversas temáticas: arte, religião, política, consumo, género, publicidade, media, entre outras.
Estas sessões, que se desdobram em conferências, mesas redondas e mostras de filmes/documentação audiovisual com a presença de investigadores, académicos e outras personalidades ligadas à Índia e às múltiplas dimensões da cultura visual mostram coleções do museu para além do espaço de exposição, uma oportunidade a não perder.


Upcomming events

So it is no secret: I’m in India. And got a busy agenda too. It is my pleasure to share it and invite all that are around the neighbourhood:


Conference |March 31, 18h00 - Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar Campus
Indo-portuguese art: the concept, art objects and present conservation issues
Lecture |April 4, 11h00 - Faculty Of Design CEPT University
Devotional architecture – indo-portuguese altarpieces of Goa, Daman and Diu


Conference |April 12, 18h00 - Fundação Oriente, Fontainhas
The Theatines in Goa – epitome of the Rome of the East

For more updates, follow my public agenda

The Book is out!

CYMERA_20160319_173335The book launch yesterday was amazingly surprising, it was very dear to me to get such wonderful and dedicated audience that words can hardly explain. Professor Vitor Serrão, from Artis Institute in UNL, made a very welcoming and positive presentation and Paulo Simões Rodrigues, director of CHAIA, exalted the importance of Art History research, like this now published, to help focus on the role of investigation in the research centre.

My former PhD advisor and co-author of the book, made the necessary insight to the importance of retable art of Goa, detached of Lisbon and more closer to Italy then previously thought, thanks to the extensive inventory that I’ve gathered since 2007, of almost 1000 altarpieces.

Among a crowded room, specialists like Hélder Carita, José Meco, Ângelo da Silveira, Luis Cabral de Oliveira, Cláudia Pereira, Hilda Frias, José Pestana, André Varela Remígio, Jason Keith Fernandes, just to name a few, surely powered the debate around the importance of conservation politics in India to help preserve important works of art, altarpieces included. Also, I can’t put to words the importantce of the support of family and friends that showed at the venue and also those that couldn’t come but sent wonderful messages.

The book is now out for sale. It can be found in Museu Oriente in Lisbon, CHAIA in Évora and also in the collection website Colecção Promontória Monográfica História da Arte.