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TERRA NULLIUS is a performative audio walk that tries to capture the experience of a distant place. For a year, Paula Diogo was in Reykjavik developing a project that combined personal and collective narratives. Her process was founded on two simple actions: walking and writing.
TERRA NULLIUS is a performance that strives to overflow the space of the theatre, occupying the city’s geography and the virtual space of discussion and thought. The final version of the project was presented at the end of 2020 at the D. Maria II Theatre.
For each location a path is drawn in the city to create an overlap with a predefined audio track. The public is then invited to walk through the city in a group experience. This experience concludes with the solitary reading of the book TERRA NULLIUS, which each audience member can take home.
Performer and stage director with an artistic background based on collaborative processes. Meandering through art-making and producing, she holds a BA in Theater by the ESTC in Lisbon, and a MA in Performing Arts by the Icelandic Academy of Arts. A co-founder of several collectives, such as Teatro Praga, TRUTA and O Pato Profissional, she has also worked with several artists and companies both in Portugal and abroad.
Recently, she founded Má-Criação, a platform that brings together creators from different backgrounds and geographies and a member of the collective Celestial Bodies, a new project dedicated to opening up spaces that integrate practices of solidarity, care, empathy and wonder. Paula Diogo is one of the the artists supported by apap – FEMINIST FUTURES a project co-funded by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union. She lives in Lisbon.
Project direction, creation and performance Paula Diogo
Text and voice Paula Diogo
Sound creation João Bento
Light design Daniel Worm
Dramaturgical support Alex Cassal
Creative support Alfredo Martins, Estelle Franco, Renato Linhares
Scenic space Frame Colectivo (Agapi Dimitriadou and Gabriela Salazar) and Elsa Mencagli (Erasmus + intern)
Graphic design Masako Hattori
Stage photography João Tuna
Proofreading Ana Macedo
Executive production Vanda Cerejo
Communication support Carlos Alves
Co-production Má-Criação and TNDMII
Co-production residencies Arquipélago – Centro de Artes Contemporâneas, Citemor and O Espaço do Tempo
Creative partners Alkantara, Galeria Zé dos Bois
Artistic residency support Companhia Olga Roriz
Support CML – Pólo Cultural Gaivotas | Boavista
Work developed with a grant from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the
GDA Foundation’s Cultural Fund in 2018/19.
Project financed by the Portuguese Republic – Culture / Directorate-General for the Arts.
It is necessary to listen carefully. If we do not become deeply involved in listening, it is useless to be here. This warning, which should already be a banality and that could serve us simply to live every day, is particularly necessary to enter Paula Diogo’s “Terra Nullius”. It may seem like a mere proposal of a theatrical format in an audio-guided device, but it is much more than that. “Terra Nuliius” is a living, sensitive, formless organism, which exists through a dramaturgical text recorded in audio, which is also a place – the place that invites us to walk while listening and, in that listening, to amplify all the senses to learn better and connect more intensely with everything and everyone around us. In the version in which it debuted, in the programming of Teatro D. Maria II (Lisbon), people were all at first to start the walk together, in a kind of silent disco transformed into silent live art or silent performance. The story that Paula Diogo tells us is about the awareness that we participate in a common body, and the many wounds and violence inflicted on this communion, where the other is often assaulted, discriminated against or simply ignored. In these pandemic times, in the impossibility of sharing the same journey made together, each immersed in their listening, “Terra Nullius” allows an exceptional experience that we must value: we can be physically and geographically distant, but we continue to be part of the same common body . Who knows, we may even meet at the same time, in a place with different coordinates, but in the same extra place: this place that, in its immateriality and in each one’s imagination, is built on the attentive and sensitive listening of Terra Nullius. Paula Diogo gives just a simple instruction: walk towards a water line or a high point.