HCA NEWS Hans Christian Andersen 2005 in Portugal

On 3 March 2005 the Portuguese Hans Christian Andersen 2005 events were officially launched in Lisbon. At the event the internationally acclaimed fado singer Mariza was appointed Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador.

By Tina Kristensen - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 04 March 2005

In 2005, the Danish poet Hans Christian Andersen is celebrated worldwide. Throughout the year, a range of events and activities in Denmark and abroad will celebrate the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of the poet on 2 April. In Portugal several Hans Christian Andersen projects are planned.

The press launch presenting Hans Christian Andersen 2005 in Portugal took place at the residence of the Danish Ambassador in Lisbon. The Portuguese Hans Christian Andersen projects in which the Danish Embassy is involved, were presented by the Danish ambassador to Portugal Theis Truelsen, who hosted the event.

In collaboration with the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, the Danish Embassy in Portugal has worked on various events connected to the Andersen bicentenary. Some projects have already taken place, some are currently running and others will take place in the future.

One of the largest Portuguese Hans Christian Andersen projects is the publication of 43 selected Hans Christian Andersen fairytales in association with the Portuguese newspaper Público. The fairytales have been distributed and sold as a supplement to the national daily Público. This collaboration has been a major success. Within the first month of the publication, 25,000 books of the fairytales have been sold. This project is sponsored by the Danish Embassy and the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation.

The publishing house Edições Gailivro has initiated the first publication of the entire number of fairytales of Hans Christian Andersen translated from Danish into Portuguese. This project is sponsored by the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation.

During 2005, Portugal will host an international touring exhibition on the life and work of Hans Christian Andersen organised by the Odense City Museums in collaboration with the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation and the Danish Embassy. The international exhibition will be featured in Portuguese. The exhibition relates the story of Hans Christian Andersen through photographs and documentation, and will be featured in three Portuguese cities: Setúbal March 7. - April 4, Sintra April 7 - May 7, and Lisbon in May and June.

Portugal will also feature educational projects as well as a variety of cultural events all related to the Andersen bicentenary. Please see below for further information on the different projects.

At the press launch a special Hans Christian Andersen wine was presented. The wine is produced by the Portuguese wine company "Cortes de Cima", owned by the Dane Hans Kristian Jørgensen. Two Danes, Karen and Anna Blincoe have created the artistic wine label. The wine is produced in collaboration with the Danish Embassy, and a share of the revenue from the sale will be donated to the HCA-abc Foundation, which has been established in the name of Hans Christian Andersen to address illiteracy worldwide.

At the press launch the Danish ambassador to Portugal, Theis Truelsen, appointed the internationally recognised fado singer Mariza as Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador. She will join the ranks of distinguished people, who are all committed to the Hans Christian Andersen bicentenary and to promoting the wider awareness and appreciation of his work. 

The Portuguese Hans Christian Andersen projects involving the Danish Embassy:

In cooperation with the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation and the Danish Embassy in Portugal, the Portuguese national daily Público has published 43 Hans Christian Andersen Fairytales. The fairytales were issued as low-cost supplements with the national daily Público in December 2004, and the project was a big success. During the first month more than 25,000 books were sold.

The collaboration with Público will continue in 2005 with a planned new publication regarding  Hans Christian Andersen. A fairytale competition is scheduled in connection to the publishing of this volume.
The publishing House Edições Gailivro is involved in the first translation from Danish into Portuguese of all Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales. The translation will be published  in March 2005. It is moreover to publish a number of selected fairytales, and a conference will be hosted in Porto and Lisbon in March on Hans Christian Andersen's life and works. 

The Hans Christian Andersen touring exhibition will be featured in three cities in Portugal during 2005. The opening of the exhibition will take place in Setúbal on March 7, and the exhibition will be displayed in Setúbal until April 4. It will then travel to Sintra on April 7 to May 7, and Lisbon in May and June. These are the three cities where Hans Christian Andersen spent most of his time during his stay in Portugal in May to August 1866.

In October 2004, an exhibition about Hans Christian Andersen was displayed in connection with a symposium on children's books hosted by the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon

Television and Film:
Castello Lopes Multimedia has created a number of animated films about Hans Christian Andersen, which are currently being broadcasted on the Portuguese television channel RTP2.

The Andersen bicentenary opening show on the 2nd of April at the national soccer stadium in Copenhagen, called PARKEN, will be broadcasted by the Portuguese television channel RTP.

A theatre play entitled "In the Shadow of H.C. Andersen" will be staged at Centro Cultural de Belem from 3 - 6 March 2005. The play is based on three Hans Christian Andersen fairytales; "The Shadow", "Little Claus and big Claus" and "The Goblin at the Grocer's". The play is produced by the acclaimed Portuguese theatre group COMUNA and will be performed at their own theatre following the premiere at the CCB. The play will be recorded by the Portuguese radio station Renascença for later broadcast. The play has been sponsored by the Danish Embassy in Portugal.

Edition SAMFUNDET has launched the project "Symphonic Fairytales" with support from the Danish government, the Danish Ministry of Culture and the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation. Throughout 2005, leading symphony orchestras around the world will perform ten new compositions by Danish composers, who all draw inspiration from a fairytale or poem by Hans Christian Andersen. "Symphonic Fairytales" is currently planning to work with Portuguese orchestras performing in Setúbal, Sintra or Lisbon during the summer. Please visit www.symphonicfairytales.com for more information.

Other activities:
The Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation has initiated a worldwide educational project for children and the young called "Hans Christian Andersen in Schools". In association with the Danish Centre for Children's Literature the Hans Christian Andersen Foundation has produced inspiring educational resources on Hans Christian Andersen for children aged 6 - 16. The resource material is available in numerous languages, and the Portuguese language version, "Hans Christian Andersen na escola", is available on the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 official website hca2005.com/Education. All resources are free of charge.

The municipality of Oeiras to the west of Lisbon has initiated a big Hans Christian Andersen project, which involves schools, parents and libraries. The Danish Embassy will participate in a special Hans Christian Andersen family day, where a dressing up competition based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales will take place. The family day is scheduled for June 2005.

Information about the Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador Mariza

Mariza is recognised as one of the most talented world music performers and is celebrated as one of the great ambassadors of Portuguese culture. She has received numerous Portuguese and international awards, such as the 2003 BBC Award for World Music, Best European Act Award, the 2001 Most Outstanding Performance Award (Canada) and the 2004 European Border Breakers Award (sponsored by the EU). Her records "Fado em mim" (2001) and "Fado Curvo" (2003) are thorough investigations of Portuguese poetry. These records have achieved an extraordinary international success and contribute to the global awareness of the Portuguese language and Portuguese heritage.

Further information can be found on Mariza?s website: www.mariza-online.net and www.mariza.com.

Mariza's words about Hans Christian Andersen:

Hans Christian Andersen is part of the loving memories of my childhood, from a time when my dreams were embraced by the magic of his storytelling.

His fabulous stories, full of imagination and humour, sent me on many a wonderful journey into the Romanticist realm of his storytelling. Hans Christian Andersen was my childhood companion, and fairytales such as "The Little Mermaid", "The Steadfast Tin Solider" and "The Ugly Duckling" were among the thrills of my childhood. His literary compositions, which are stooped in everyday living, offer good guidance on how to conduct your life.

The intensity of his characters, the amazing universe instilled with straightforward everyday love still lingers in my memory. Hans Christian Andersen empowers us with his boundless devotion to the young and those who are disenfranchised. His preoccupation with human nature and the inner qualities we posses is always apparent in his stories. It is quite interesting to see that his fairytales are just as relevant and cherished today as ever among the children of the world, who gain important insight that holds value in their further development. He is seen as "the father of children's literature", and his works, which are also appreciated by adults, are a true source of inspiration in regards to human interaction.

I send my heartfelt thanks to the Hans Christian Andersen Foundation and the  Danish Embassy in Portugal for my appointment as goodwill ambassador in relation to the Hans Christian Andersen bicentenary. It is a great honour for me, as representative of my country, to be granted the opportunity to take part in this tribute and the many events set to take place during this grand commemoration.