Representations and Landscapes of Lisboa94 and Expo98: Re-inventing 90’s Lisbon through its televised image.

Representations and Landscapes of Lisboa94 and Expo98: Re-inventing 90’s Lisbon through its televised image.

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During the 1990s, Portugal is being redefined by deterritorialization and reterritorialization processes. The 1st by the dismantling of its colonial empire after the revolution in 1974 and the 2nd by the country’s accession to the European Project in 1986. This territorial redefinition mirrors the end of an era marked by a “semi-peripheral” social, economic and political gap (Boaventura Sousa Santos, 1999) by a nation that had lived symbolically as an island during a forty-year-old dictatorship. It also marks an internal conflict between wanting to embrace its now full European status while bearing the nostalgic ghost of its key role in 15th century’s colonial maritime expansion (Eduardo Lourenço, 2012).
In this decade, Lisbon hosts two major cultural and urban events – Lisbon 1994, European Capital of Culture and the World Trade Fair Expo98 – to celebrate and reduce the distance between Portugal’s peripherical location and Europe’s central position. While the Lisboa94 slogan was aimed at Europe “Imagine a capital. And Europe within it. Imagine Europe. And its whole culture. Lisboa Invites you.”; the Expo 98 alluded to a global multiculturalism: “At Expo ’98, people from all over the world will come together to learn more about what unites them: the Oceans, a heritage for the future.“ These two events not only allowed for the enhancement of the city's image and rebranding (Pedro Gadanho, 2010), but also for an overall regeneration of Lisbon.
With this in mind, this paper will explore how televised images helped shaping a new city (F. Jameson, 2008). It will demonstrate how symbolic and identity appropriation, as enhanced and projected by the media, is reflected both in the city and in its architecture (Giuliana Bruno, 2014). Based on a time period when Lisbon was widely displayed on the TV screen – that other community-gathering space –, this paper aims at finding out if Lisbon 90s re-invention happened firstly on television or in its own landscape.

Corresponding Author

Luísa Sol


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Luísa Sol


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Preferred Track

9. The Syndrome of Grand Projects: contamination processes between North-South, West-East, Global-Local

Second Preferred Track

2. Starchitecture

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