5 de Setembro de 2017.

Judaism in Madeira

A brief exploration of the hidden history of Jewish people on the island of Madeira. For as long as Madeira has existed as a territory under Portuguese control there has been a notable, if hidden, Jewish population living on the island. During the time following the island’s discovery this primarily comprised of Crypto-Jews, who hid their faith publicly due to the ongoing Spanish Inquisition. The city of Funchal was established in 1508, less than 20 years after the Alhambra Decree which ordered all practicing Jews to be expelled from Spain. In this context it is interesting that many Portuguese historians speculate that Zarco, the official discoverer of the island and first captain of Funchal, was himself of Crypto-Jewish ancestry. In […]
1 de Setembro de 2017.

Access to forests is our privilege?

Levadas – more than two thousands kilometers of irrigation channels, going through Madeira across and along from the top to the bottom of the island. I can only think about walking along the path surrounding levada by green tropical flora, to feel undiscribed calmness. Even more I like to visit them alone without companions, for better exploration. Every single forest has his own story to discover and it depends on us, do we want to hear them or not. Trees are silent witnesses of history. The rest of the oldest kind belonged to Old Tjikko from Swedish Fulufjället National Park, survived more than nine thousand years. They remeber the time before Jesus Christ, the Roman Empire, Inca Empire, two world […]
21 de Agosto de 2017.

Polish accent in Funchal

What I found when I started to look for Polish signs in Madeira. There is about 4000 km distance between Madeira and Poland, so it is rather unlikely that these two countries can have a lot in common. However, if you look closely you can find some similarities. One of them are churches and a lot of other signs of Christian faith which are present at every corner. What is more, in the Jesuit’s church we can find a painting of the Divine Mercy based on the devotion initiated by Polish saint nun Faustyna Kowalska and painted by Polish artist. Also in that church we can see a statue of Polish Jesuit – saint Stanisław Kostka, a patron saint of […]
17 de Agosto de 2017.

The art of being lost

Before arriving on the project – I didn’t completely know what to expect. Am I going to love it, am I going to hate it? Will I pick up the language easily? What will it be like being a non-native of the place I’m in for the first time in my life? Now that I’m here. I can honestly say I still don’t have the answers to these questions … But I do know one thing, it’s the curiosity of NOT knowing that is spurring me on and igniting the inquisitive flames of my heart to continue upon this journey. I always hated children’s shows like Dora the Explorer – I never thought that I’d be buying her books in […]
14 de Agosto de 2017.

Expectations

It has already been a month since I left my hometown in the northeast of France to live this experience of a lifetime in Madeira. How do I feel about that? If anyone would have told me that I would be in Madeira at that time last year, I would have never believed him or her. I was doing my end-of-studies internship in the Ministry of Economy in Luxembourg, and I was expecting, or rather, my parents were expecting me to find a job afterwards. Instead I started working as a volunteer in a non-profit organisation that promotes European values and informs youngsters about all kinds of mobility programmes that exist in the European Union. I was still looking for […]