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Terrain Vague de Chelas

Teresa Palma | Lisbon, Portugal

The main objective of this project about Chelas is to assess the contribution of Art and landscape for the definition of the personal and artistic identity.
The migration of people from the rural areas to urban areas of Lisbon, during the dictatorship as well the return of African people, after the independence of ex-colonies, in 1975, lead to the appearance of many shanty-towns in Portuguese capital.
Chelas is a neighbourhood in Lisbon which had many spaces reserved, since the Chelas Urbanization Plan (1964), for the construction of hospitals, schools and other infrastructures. Chelas’s Social Housing was built (in the 70’s) to host mostly African immigrants and poor Portuguese people who left the countryside, however, there was many infrastructures that never were constructed.
Now, with Portugal officially ‘in crisis’, there is a terrain vague, reserved since 1964, to construct an hospital. As the country has no money to construct it, people use the place to cultivate some vegetables to eat and to sell, and just to contemplate the view, trying to find some kind of Nature in this urban wild.


Is my intend to make a reflection about the importance of "sense of place" on the preservation of cultural heritage and the territories, as well in the construction of the identity of a community living in an urban space, where country and city coexist, sometimes in a disturbing way.

Teresa Palma (1978) has a College degree in painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Lisbon. She has also a Master in Painting from Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Lisbon.

She has had solo exhibitions in Galeria Pedro Serrenho – Contemporary Art in Lisbon, at CCVA (Cultural Centre of Vila das Aves), Santo Tirso, and recently in Galeria Augusto Cabrita, Seixal, participated in group exhibitions in Spain, France and Italy. Palma was part of the exhibition POVOpeople (2010) at the Electricity Museum, Portugal.

Since 2009 she is member of CIEBA (Fine Arts Studies and Research Centre). She lives and works in Lisbon.


2006/2008 – MFA - Master in Painting from Fine Art School, University of Lisbon

1996/2001- College degree in Painting from Fine Art School, University of Lisbon

1996 - First Free Art History Course - Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal.


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