This, however, is only "the first moment of a retrospective look at SEMA", warns the official, adding that new documents and material will be made available on the new site. And the bases of a broad debate will be launched to update, "40 years later," the theme of the last issue: "Perspectives of Portuguese Culture".
The year 2022 (when it marks the 40th anniversary of the end of the magazine) will culminate with a comprehensive exhibition, which will showcase the EMS estate, contextualized in the cultural and social epoch in which it was published, he added.
SEMA magazine published its first issue 40 years ago in Lisbon in the spring of 1979, taking over as a "arts and letters magazine", and went out with the aim of "bringing together generations, different forms of thinking and intervention cultural".
"I did not have an ideology. It was not the product of political, academic, or thought-struggling movements. It was the result of the relationship between two young people: a student of law and an architect, "he adds.
These two young people were João Miguel Barros and Maria José Freitas, the same ones who, now, 40 years later, are leading this project of recovering the magazine and retaking its direction.
At the time, they had "diverse but complementary concerns," they had no doctrinal or group influences, lived in a culturally hectic time, with many scattered initiatives but few cultural publications, and aspired to edit a magazine that made sense and meaning. It was in this context that his name, SEMA, the minimum unit of meaning was born and defined.
"Armed with this motivation and willingness they set out on adventure and discovery, applying in this dream all the small savings that could have been used for an early life. They made four numbers that were supposed to correspond to the seasons of a year. But the vicissitudes proper of the Carolingian obliged that the year extended by four. That is, four numbers in four years, "says João Miguel Barros.
Dedicated to avant-gardes and surrealism in Portugal, the first issue came out in the spring of 1979. It featured collaborations with authors such as Álvaro Lapa, Ana Hatherly, Cruzeiro Seixas, Ernesto de Melo e Castro, Ernesto de Sousa and Eugénio de Andrade, Jorge Listopad, Luís Miguel Nava, Pedro Oom, Philip Larkin, Vitor Silva Tavares (editor of & etc).
The second, from the summer of 1979, debated "Cultura vs. Contracultura", with interventions by artists, writers and editors such as Alberto Carneiro, António Sena, Cerveira Pinto, Jorge de Sena, José-Augusto França, José Bento, Manuel Graça Dias , Manuel Hermínio Monteiro (Assírio & Alvim), Miguel Esteves Cardoso, among others.
The debate between "Arts & Letters" dominated the fall issue of 1979, published in May 1980, with names like António Ramos Rosa and Al Berto, António Barahona, António de Campos Rosado, António Osório, Fernando Guimarães, José Luís Porfírio, Julião Sarmento, Manuel Rosa, Mario Claudio or Sérgio Pombo.
The fourth and last issue, published in May 1982, doubled the usual pages for over 250, as well as collaborations, combining authors, researchers and disseminators like Ana Hatherly, Ângelo, Armando Alves, Eduardo Nery, Eduardo Pitta, Francisco Bélard , Helder Moura Pereira, Irene Buarque, Isabel de Sá, João David Pinto Correia, João Miguel Fernandes Jorge, João Vieira, Jorge Molder, José Manuel Costa, Manuel Castro Caldas, Maria Ondina Braga, Mário Botas, Miguel Serras Pereira, Nuno Júdice, Rui Simões and Samuel Torres de Carvalho (Sam, the creator of Heloísa and Ricardo Guarda).
When the magazine came to an end, it had more than 176 authors from different quarters and different cultural practices, from writers such as Al Berto and Almeida Faria, authors such as Fernando J. B. Martinho, Mário Henrique-Leiria and Vasco.
In the new site is also available the catalog of the exhibition "Drawings?" which included the participation of more than two dozen artists, such as Ana Vidigal, António Sena, Fernanda Fragateiro, José Mouga, Pedro Calapez, Pedro Chorão and Rocha Pinto.
Sónia Rafael, from CIEBA / Belas Artes, and Rita Basílio, from IELT / FCSH-UNL, are the others responsible for this new project, responsible for the design and coordination of the digital publishing project.