Hi, I’m Diego Bagagal, a Brazillian-Portuguese artist based in Lisbon. From Monday I'll be taking part in a creative lab called Rough Mix in Perth.
In July 2017 I was in Edinburgh as one of the Brazilian delegates from Momentum - a British Council and Creative Scotland project. I presented my platform, MADAME TEATRO, and I was very interested in co-creating with a Scottish based artist.
However, on the last day of Momentum, after attending so many meetings and shows, I was feeling a strong intuition and connection with Scotland, and at that moment I felt that I wanted more than a simple co-creation, I wanted to start an artistic dialogue and exchange.
At the end of 2017 I was again in Scotland, this time in Glasgow, co-creating with the director Susan Worsfold (we met in 2015 in Brazil) a solo show called "Cleopatra”. At that time I met Lorna Duguid and told her about my future project: ‘Geography of Love’. We had a fantastic conversation about the “disco” movement and its freedom, and she also told me about Rough Mix.
After an inspiring Skype meeting with Magnetic North's Artistic Director Nicholas Bone, I was very impressed with how they approach creation, artists and art. After our chat, “Rough Mix” sounded like the perfect incubator for my future project. I got very excited!
During our conversation I shared a project that I'm calling ‘Geography of Love’.
Let me tell you a bit about ‘Geography of Love’:
In 2011 my dearest uncle Ricardo passed away. He knew in a deep way the history and geography of the world. The interesting thing is that he never travelled beyond Brazil. He was a huge fan, in the 80’s, of Ipanema’s beach and Copacabana, two iconic places of Rio de Janeiro, known for its sexual freedom.
In the 90’s he contracted HIV+. Uncle Ricardo and I had a very strong relationship (I lived with him from the age of one till my 17th birthday) and before his death he gave me his "heritage".
His heritage consisted of a plastic box with some objects (photographs, journal pages, drawings, official documents) and hundreds of city postcards, that he exchanged from the end of the 1970 till the end of 1990's with different people - 90% were men.
That was the time that erotism and glamour were in the air and when the horror of AIDS was still in full force, ripping through his lovers, friends, idols and community.
In 2016 I opened the heritage/box (and cried almost like a river!) and started to map the postcards. All the continents are represented, from south to north, from west to east.
After six months I came with a suitable title: Geography of Love.
I’d like to create with other partners a work that can talk about love and utopia. From the micro (Uncle Ricardo) to the macro (all men could be inspired by love without geographical barriers and freedom).
I don’t have any pre-conceived idea about how it should look (sometimes I think about something very visual and musical). Right now, I’m approaching it more in terms of music, visual arts and archives than theatre.
For me it's very clear that this is a bilingual project because of the international content of it.
With the support of British Council and Creative Scotland, my time in Scotland for Rough Mix will start a utopic and geographical journey.