SEBASTIÃO, O FANTASMA [SEBASTIAN, THE GHOST], 2014-2015
15', HD Video, color, sound, 16:9
Sebastian of Portugal disappeared in the battle of Alcácer Quibir and is often referred to as The Desired by the Portuguese. The people of Lençóis believe that the ghost of Sebastian of Portugal haunts their Brazilian island. Some see themselves as direct descendants of the king. They also believe that every first Friday of every month king Sebastian visits the beach in full armour and on his horse, and that a subterranean ouroboros will swallow the island some day. This project is a research into a group of people who inhabit the island of Lençóis on the Northeast of Brazil and their interest in the myth of D. Sebastião I (Sebastian of Portugal 1554-1578).
A short piece of fiction that embody the idea of the ghost. This video borrow techniques from traditional documentary and academic writing but would question its own liveliness and legitimacy, like that of a myth or a story archived and transmitted orally through generations. The project started with a residency in Lençóis and subsequent documentation of the stories as told by the locals. Most narrate their stories as resultant from visions experienced in the flesh, to the point of delirium. I transpose this irrational tension into the flesh of the film and the viewer as well. This project tackles an alternative view of the Portuguese colonization of Brazil because it deals with folklore and oral history at the same time as it takes the shape of a surreal fiction, a format that tends to seek the truth. The short fiction make tangible a ghost that might or not exist but that still embodies the lore of a group of isolated people, who turn to mysticism and religion centuries after the arrival of the Portuguese.