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Hotel Europa - Portugal is not a small country


Every person has a secret that he or she does not like to share with others. Similarly, nations and countries themselves have secrets, including Portugal.  But there is courage in all of us to face our demons. In every country you can find artists who have the courage to laugh at historical black holes and bring them to the daylight. André Amalio is one of those brave people who decided not to forget. His performance, Portugal is not a small country, is, using the documentary method, telling a story of the so-called Retornados, the people who in 1974 gradually returned from the former colonies back to Portugal. These returnees were often branded with the mark of fascism and colonialism they were associated with. This stigma mostly lasts to this day. What was life like in colonial Africa (Anglola, Mosambique) and what was it like in Europe? This documentary performance is based on real interviews with "Retornados" and is a critical reflection of colonialism, a study of identity and a search for truth.

Portugal is not a small country is a performance that discusses European dictatorships and the European presence in Africa, by looking at the Portuguese case, the country that had the longest fascist dictatorship in Europe - 48 years, and the longest colonial Empire - nearly 500 years. This analysis on the end of Portuguese colonialism is done through the real live testimonies of ex-Portuguese settlers that were part of the refugee exodus from Africa in 1974-76.

The script of the show was created through a verbatim process, meaning copied word for word, which resulted in the writing of a theatre text that faithfully uses the words of the people interviewed about their life in Africa during the Portuguese colonial period. The methodology combined the collection of testimonies of these people and a detailed historiographical research, creating a text that portrays the complexity of recent Portuguese history, particularly in the case of the end of Portuguese colonialism.

"With this work I want to investigate real stories that have become memories and that over time have been inherited; I'm interested in situations where real people contribute to challenge and rebuild cultural identities; I'm interested in how theatre can contribute to the rewriting of history, giving voice to a silenced group, working in that to memory transmission between generations."

                                                                                                        André Amálio



Hotel Europa is a duo of artists, André Amálio and Tereza Havlíčková. The company was born in MA Performance Making at Goldsmiths University in London and is coming from two different countries - Portugal and Czech Republic and two disciplines - dance and theatre. Hotel Europa develops performance work exploring the boundaries between dance, performance art and theatre in a process of collaboration. In their processes they use autobiographical material, verbatim material, family stories, national stories creating a complex web of references to popular culture and classical, creating performances that allows the public to travel across cultures, ages and genders and construct their own meaning and narrative.


Devised and performed by André Amálio

Co-directed and choreographed by Tereza Havlíčková (CZ)

Music composed and performed by Pedro Salvador  (PT)

Set design by Pedro Silva

Production of Hotel Europa




"A reflexion about the burning matter that we are made of."

Maria João Guardão (Diário de Notícias)

Performance is supported by: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Largo Residências, Liberdade Provisória and Teatro do Silêncio

This international tour is supported by: DGARTES, The Ministry of culture Portugal,  and Instituto Camões Portugal