Culture And Heritage

Shorefast supports a number of community projects that are intended to stimulate, catalyse and promote the culture and heritage of the islands.

We believe culture to be hugely important to our future both in these islands and in our society as a whole.

Culture is a touchstone. It is what we, as a people, know and value; it is how we know who we are; it is how we make sense of the world. Culture gives vitality to our spirit and defines us as people.

We live in a world where cultures everywhere are under assault. They’re being homogenized and flattened. Younger people in particular are being formed and informed by what comes in on a computer screen. Their view is of a glossy and often glib digital world; a consumerist way of life vastly different from their own roots and from the natural world.

That’s why it’s so essential that we as a community stay active in preserving and protecting our culture, our own unique ways of knowing and our own unique ways of being. Because if we don’t, it will, bit by bit, disappear and we will be like the fish in a tub of water – not realizing what we have until the water drains away.

Protecting our culture, we believe, means staying connected with the past – where we’ve come from and what we’ve learned on the way. That’s not to dismiss the way culture evolves; we can be anchored in the past without being fixed in it. But if we don’t find ways to value our past we will, almost inevitably, discount our future potential.

The lives of those of us who live on Fogo and Change Islands is inextricably linked to nature and the natural world. It is a world that is foreign to most people who live in the urban industrialised world but it is one that many are now looking at, seeking alternatives. They are looking for ways to build futures informed by the diversity and uniqueness of the natural world. We want to learn from those people as they in turn may learn from us.

Culture and heritage are sources of inspiration and courage. They give us a discipline and a freedom to fuel our passion and curiousity and they let us move forward, finding new ways built on the old ways.

Far left: The Wells house restored to life for use by visiting artists.

Left: Making use of disused churches to showcase traditional and modern cultural events.

Reviving and showcasing traditional wooden boats as part of sharing a rich cultural legacy

Left: Change Island fisherman, rower and boatbuilder, Jim Edwards, crafts a new punt.

Reinventing traditional cuisine

Left: Seasame Crusted Cod Pot Cod Fish with intense Shittake.

Exploring and promoting the potential of the abundant local wild berries

Left: Handcrafted ice cream at Growlers Ice Cream Shop – using partridgeberries and marshberries

Promoting the Great Fogo Island Punt Race To There and Back – an annual summer program for creating awareness of a 300 years old heritage when wooden boats were used for industry, travel and recreation.

Promoting the potential of local theatre and storytelling

Left: Local actors David Shea and Jason Hoven in Fighting Fire with Snow.

…the past experience revived in meaning

Is not the experience of one life only

But of many generations-not forgetting

Something that is probably quite ineffable

T.S. Eliot

The Dry Salvages, Four Quartets

The Shorefast Foundation initiated and supports the following cultural events:

Left: Fishing stages on Little Fogo Islands – sources of inspiration and courage.


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