The "fado" of the Portuguese haute culture: the erudite music as a mirror of semi-peripheral and border culture characteristics
Núcleo de Estudos do Estado, do Direito e da Administração (Permanent Observatory of Portuguese Justice) Centro de Estudos Sociais Coimbra, Portugal
This paper presents some brief reflections on what can be seen as manifestations of colonialism in a scenario of hegemonic/neo-liberal globalization within the northern (European) space, specifically in Portugal, a "semi-peripheral country" with a "border culture" (Boaventura de Sousa Santos). And, as a consequence, in whose cultural life predominate cultural manifestations of a hegemonic matrix, and, may I add, in the most canonical fashion.
The precise object of these reflections is an "haute culture" (Bourdieu) manifestation: the erudite music. Which is achieved by a statistical and thorough analysis of the musical agendas for the 2008-2009 season of the two more emblematic showrooms in Portugal that are the only ones providing this offer exclusively: the São Carlos National Theatre and the Gulbenkian Auditorium. Thus confirming the hegemonic presence of composers, as well as maestros and interpreters, of such matrix. In summary, of what may be called "italogermanicrussianfrench" imported products.
In a context of democratization of cultural practices, operated during the last decade through the redefinition of the production and diffusion's organizational models, as well as the hierarchies of the various cultural expressions, I observe a mimetic posture, which is symptomatic, in face of the referred imposition and import of cultural products.
Whole in whole, the fate (the "fado") of Portugal as a "semi-peripheral country" is perceivable in its cultural offer. The "colonization" of such "haute culture" spaces, their actors and, most of all, of their offer, maintains the externality of the patterns and cultural actors, in detriment of national ones. Mirroring the affirmation of Boaventura de Sousa Santos that our frontier is not "frontier", it's "border".