The Saints of Afurada. Art, Devotion and Community - Part I

Faculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

Os Santos d'Afurada. Arte, Devoção e Comunidade - Parte IFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

Fishing boat arriving at Afurada after a night at sea (2021) by Cátia OliveiraFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

Afurada: territory and community

Located on the left bank of the Douro River, the parish of São Pedro da Afurada is the smallest in area in the burgh of Vila Nova de Gaia. It appears from an early age registered in the forais of 1255, 1288 and 1518.

The fixation of a community composed of fishermen from other coastal geographies motivated by natural resources, gains here a new expression in the second half of the 19th century. The exponential population growth and the limited space available for the construction of a larger cluster led to a marked transformation of the territory, through the conquest of land to the riverbed, by the deposition of debris, configuring a very particular urban network. Over time, with an identity shaped by the daily life of a fishing context, some community support equipment emerges there. At the end of the 19th century, it was built the nursery that welcomed the orphans of the sinking of February 1892, as well as the old chapel dedicated to St. Peter – in 1894 – in the small square now called St. Peter, the patron saint of the locality. The construction of the chapel marks the affirmation of the community and definitively consecrates the area further north of the current parish.

In 1952, the parish and the civil parish of Afurada were created, mainly due to the commitment of the then parish priest, Father Joaquim de Araújo (1918-1999).

The Afurada community is characterized by a strong personality and a vigorously rooted religious feeling. Committed to perpetuating traditions, those who live there make the catchphrase "Afurada is beautiful!" an identity motto that is passed on from generation to generation.

Bathed by the Douro River, Afurada invites one to moments of contemplation and delight.
The "Rua da Praia" acquired with the Pólis Program, in 2005, a reorganization of routes and the enhancement of sidewalks.

Fishermen mending the nets in Rua da Praia (1983) by João Tenente de SeixasFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

In this street, gathered the local community committed to their fishing activities.

Fishing boats of Afurada (2020) by Cátia OliveiraFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

The fishing clusters resent, for different reasons, unique characteristics that individualize them.
In the case of Afurada, the "caíca", used inside the Douro Estuary, it was moved through oars, although in some situations used wood.

Fishing nets (2021) by Bruna RemelgadoFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

In addition to adventures on the high seas, the men are also dedicated to the maintenance of boats and the repair of nets at the Fishing Port.

Fishwifes of Afurada (1970)Faculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

After fishermen return to land with the goods, it is up to women to prepare it and sell it.

The fishwives (2021) by Cátia OliveiraFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

Nowadays, it is on the market that fishwives end the fishing cycle. More contemporary now in their dressing and expressing, they dedicate themselves to an activity that is timeless in the locality and that has passed from generation to generation.

Postacard, Municipal Archive of Oporto (1910) by Carlos Pereira CardosoFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

Women in Afurada have always played a fundamental role in the community. Washerwomen are born out of the need for a second source of income. These energetic women, after selling the fish, went to the river to wash the customers' clothes.

The Afurada Tanks. The Pólis Program (2021) by Bruna RemelgadoFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

Currently, women no longer wash in the river, but in tanks built by the Municipality of Vila Nova de Gaia, an initiative that recognized a deeply rooted tradition.

Although some women still do this for a living, most of them do it out of taste and for having a good time with the washerwomen who gather here daily.

Children playing in a tank of the washhouse (2016) by Cátia OliveiraFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

Accompanied by their young children, who play in groups, the washerwomen also prolonged their domestic activities by washing the clothes.

The clotheslines (2021) by Bruna RemelgadoFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

The clotheslines close this picture of Afurada, marking the landscape with the multicolored tones of clothes drying in the sun.
Placed in front of the tanks, the clotheslines reflect patterns of sociability, corresponding individually to a particular family.

Entrevista do Jornal Terras de GaiaFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

Hand-washed clothing is distinguished by the quality washerwomen’s work and the smell of soap and bleach that impregnate the environment.

Through the streets of Afurada (2021) by Bruna RemelgadoFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

Walking through the streets of Afurada, one feels the connection that the community has with the place. Day to day, relational dynamics and devotion are experienced door to door, in the sidewalks and houses entrances.

In Afurada, sidewalks are filled with tables, benches and chairs used for rest, but also for recreation and conviviality between families and neighbors.
On the street one lives, talks, sings, and prays. The street is the scene for the genuine sense of community.

The doors open directly onto the street and are decorated with plants that embellish the entrances. The facades are still dominated by the clotheslines, brooms, basins, buckets, and other auxiliaries of domestic and female work.

In Afurada there is the usual religious fervor among fishing communities. Here, devotion is naturally associated with the art of fishing and the dangers it entails; therefore, the saints of greatest devotion are related to the sea.

Church of Afurada after the renovation works (2021) by Cátia OliveiraFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

Afurada and the place’s sacredness

The church, St. Peter Small Square and the fishing port are places of sacredness Afurada. The Small Square is a reference space of memory, once occupied by the first chapel of Afurada.  In the urban context, it has a strong symbolic load, that is punctuated by the image of the patron saint who recalls the pre-existence of the chapel. The current parish church, established in the middle quota of the parish, arises from the need to expand the space of worship and results from the use of the architectural structure of an inactive factory.

The fishing port acts as a unifying element of the place. Beyond its functionality linked to fishing, it is assumed as a place of devotion. Here occurs every year the blessing of the vessels, at the end of the procession of St. Peter, which reinforces the importance of consecration to the patron saint and his connection to the dominant fishing activity in the community.

First Chapel to dedicated to St. Peter (1890) by História da Afurada - Pe. Joaquim de AraújoFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

The first Chapel of Afurada, dedicated to St. Peter, was built between 1894 and 1908 and resulted from the action of João José de Almeida.

Destruction of the Chapel of St. Peter of Afurada (1909) by Tabacaria VareirenseFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

On December 23, 1909, the Chapel of St. Peter of Afurada was partially destroyed following the clash and sinking of Barca

Commemoration of the birth of the Parish of Afurada (1952) by História da Afurada - Pe. Joaquim de AraújoFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

After the floods of December 1909, the Chapel of St. Peter
was rebuilt on the same site.

The new Church of Afurada (2021) by Cátia OliveiraFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

The option of building a new church in a higher location determined the demolition of the chapel in 1969, which generated a sense of loss within the community.

Carlos Marques - Capela da AfuradaFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

“Appreciation”, “affection”, and “recognition” are words that stand out in the discourse of afuradense Carlos Marques about the first chapel.

St. Peter Small Square was inaugurated in 1969 by Cátia OliveiraFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

To mark the sacredness of the place, it was placed, in 1969, an image of St. Peter on a granite pedestal.

The authorization for the construction of a parish church for Afurada was granted in 1951 by the bishop of Oporto D. Agostinho de Jesus e Sousa.

Model of the project of the new church (1954) by Manuel Leão Foundation, Teófilo Rego Photgraphic FundFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

The work was taken as the subjectof the final exam for the students at the School of Fine Arts of Oporto and the final project resulted from the solutions presented by the best works.

The architect chosen for the readaptation of the previous building in the new parish church of Afurada was Carlos Ramos, then Director of the School of Fine Arts of Oporto.

Church of St. Peter of Afurada and Douro River (2014) by Cátia OliveiraFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

The first stone of the parish church was blessed on April 22, 1954 and was inaugurated on July 10, 1955.

Afurada: devotion and religious practices (2014) by Cátia OliveiraFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

Afurada: devotion and
religious practices

The fishing community of Afurada expresses a great devotion to St Peter, their patron saint, invoking him in times of greatest distress and dedicating several days of celebrations to him at the end of June. The worship of Our Lady of Fatima, whose affirmation coincides with the creation of the parish, has within the community a special importance. The religious fervor, experienced and externalized by the population of Afurada, constitutes one of the cultural and identity expressions of this place.

Image of Our Lady Star of the Sea (2014) by Cátia OliveiraFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

The devotion to Our Lady Star of the Sea found a strong expression in the locality, corroborating the historical significance that the Marian cult assumed in the fishing communities.

Processional litter of Our Lady Star of the Sea (2017) by Cátia OliveiraFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

The feasts of Our Lady Star of the Sea were organized by the cod fishing men.
Nowadays image continues to be conducted in a litter in the procession in honor of St. Peter.

Procissão de São Pedro da AfuradaFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

Itinerary of the procession of Afurada (2021) by Google EarthFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

The procession of St. Peter runs through the entire territory of the parish, symbolically unifying it. The procession of St. Peter runs through the entire territory of the parish, symbolically unifying it.
This solemn itinerary unites the North and South.

Viva o São PedroFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

The attachment to the territory and the Patron saint is one of the most remarkable moments of the whole procession of St. Peter. Along the way it is possible to hear, repeatedly, the catchphrase "Afurada is Beautiful" and the exaltation of the invocation "Long live St. Peter, Long live our patron”.

Litter of St. Peter (2014) by Cátia OliveiraFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

The Procession of St. Peter of Afurada is one of the most famous celebrations of the municipality of Vila Nova de Gaia.

Imagem Peregrina de Fátima em Visita à AfuradaFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

In 2016, the year of the commemoration of the centenary of Our Lady of Fatima, the "Pilgrim Image" toured all the parishes of the country.

“Pilgrim Image” of Our Lady of Fatima (2016) by Cátia OliveiraFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

The "Pilgrim Image" of Our Lady of Fatima toured the Fishing Port and Rua da Praia

Imagem Peregrina do Santuário de Fátima na AfuradaFaculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto

Credits: Story

CREDITS

Os Santos d’Afurada. Arte, Devoção e Comunidade

EXHBITION COORDINATORS & SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE & CURATORSHIP: Ana Cristina Sousa (FLUP/CITCEM), Maria Leonor Botelho (FLUP/CITCEM) e Cátia Oliveira (CITCEM)

TEXTS: Aida COELHO, Ana Carolina RESENDE, Ana CARVALHO, Ana Cristina SOUSA, Ana GUEDES, Ana João SILVA, Bruna REMELGADO, Catarina DIAS, Cátia OLIVEIRA, Clarisse Rangel PAMPLONA, Claúdia Costa PIRES, Daniela Fatela GERALDES, Débora SILVA, Diana NEVES, Eduardo Abreu De CARVALHO, Hélia Luís GAMA, Inês PINHO, Liana VARASSIN, Rodrigues ALVES, Maria Leonor BOTELHO, Mariana Cardoso Da SILVA, Nathália Fernandes SOUZA, Raquel VIEIRA, Ricardo RODRIGUES, Veronica HORNYANSKY

PHOTO CREDITS: Arquivo Histórico Municipal do Porto, Biblioteca Central de Marinha - Arquivo Histórico (BCM-AH), Bruna Remelgado, Cátia Oliveira, Cinemateca Portuguesa-Museu do Cinema, João Seixas, Jornal de Notícias.

VIDEO CREDITS: Cátia Oliveira, Cinemateca Portuguesa-Museu do Cinema, DOT. Design e Comunicação, Drone Vision.

IMAGE PRODUCTION: Cátia Oliveira e DOT. Design e Comunicação.

EXIBITION PRODUCTION: Cátia Oliveira e Diana Felícia

TRANSLATION: Hugo Alves

[This translation is financed by National Funds through the FCT - Foundation for Science and Technology, under the project UIDB/04059/2020]

ORGANIZATION: CITCEM & FLUP

PARTNERSHIP: UP, CMVNG, CIPA e Paróquia da Afurada.

SPONSORS: Cinemateca Portuguesa-Museu do Cinema, DOT. Design e Comunicação.



REFERENCES
PRIMARY SOURCES
Arquivo da Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto
Processo de Aluno Altino Maia. Escola Superior de Belas-Artes do Porto, 1942.

Processo de Aluno Altino Maia. Escola Superior de Belas-Artes do Porto, 1946, 3ª Secção, L. 27, No. 1016.

Documentação Particular
NETO, Francisco (antigo sacristão da paróquia de São Pedo da Afurada). Documentação particular.

REFERENCES
ARAÚJO, Joaquim de (1992). História da Afurada. [s.l.]: Ed. Junta de Freguesia de São Pedro da Afurada.
CHOAY, Françoise (2001). Alegoria do Património. Lisboa: Edições 70.
FEYO, Barata (1955). A Propósito das recentes imagens concebidas por Altino Maia. «Jornal de Notícias». 8 de julho.
GARRADAS, Cláudia (2008). A Colecção de Arte da Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto - Gênese e História da uma Colecção Universitária. Porto: Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto. Dissertação de Mestrado.
LUZ, Carla Sofia. (2016). A fé andou de barco. «Jornal de Notícias». [Consult. 07 jun. 2021] Disponível em: <https: / /www.jn.pt /local /noticias /porto /vila-nova-de-gaia /nossa-senhora-de-fatima-cruzou-o-douro-e-a-fe-andou-de-barco-5153051.html>
GUINSBURG, J. (2002). O Expressionismo. São Paulo: Editora Perspetiva.
MAIA, Altino (1954). Barata Feyo e a escultura contemporânea. «Jornal de Notícias». Suplemento Literário 62. 5 de novembro.
MATTOS, Claudia Valladão de (2002). A escultura expressionista. In GUINSBURG, J., coord., O Expressionismo. São Paulo: Editora Perspectiva, pp. 469-471.
OLIVEIRA, Cátia (2015). Afurada. Âncora de Identidades. Porto. Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto. Relatório de Estágio em Mestrado em História da Arte Portuguesa.
OLIVEIRA, Marta (2002). Elementos de formação urbana da Afurada. In Plano Pormenor da Afurada. Programa Gaia Pólis. [s.l]. [Consult. 30 nov. 2020]. Disponível em: https://repositorio-aberto.up.pt/handle/10216/70156
OLIVEIRA, Nuno (2013). CIPA. A memória de um lugar. (CIPA, Ed.) Iniciativa: APDL - Administração dos Portos do Douro e Leixões.
SÁ, Sérgio de Oliveira e (2015). Altino Maia: o pensar e o fazer do escultor. Breve e eventual contributo para uma análise à sua obra. Maia: Edição do Autor.

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