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sexta-feira, outubro 05, 2012

Projecto do Passal merece prémio a jovem arquitecto

A Benetton, através da sua Fundação Unhate, lançou a nova edição do seu concurso de ideias com o tema 'Unemployee of the Year'. Este ano, um dos candidatos é o arquitecto americano Eric Moed que apresenta uma proposta dedicada a Casa do Passal. O Eric descende de receptores de vistos de Sousa Mendes e tem dedicado o seu trabalho de investigação ao Consul . 

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Work is a dirty word. It can blind people from what is truly important. Paychecks serve as blinders.
Unemployment can lead to periods of deep introspection which in turn can lead to discovery. I have had one such discovery that has changed the course of my life. A discovery which is truly in line with this contest.

Please help me in making it a reality through Work Toward Fairness.

What is the Casa do Passal?
As time passes it deteriorates. It is a decrepit home, with the potential to tell the incredible story of its former inhabitant through the proper project.

The inhabitant: Mr. Sousa Mendes, a Portugese diplomat who issued over 30,000 visas, against government orders. These visas saved thousands of desperate refugees by providing an escape from the terrors of World War II. Unfortunately Aristides de Sousa Mendes did not live to see his actions recognized, he was harshly punished and his home was taken away from him. In fact, he died in 1954, penniless, his remaining relatives not even able to afford a proper suit for his burial. Surely Aristides was the Employee of the Month worldwide in 1939, now as an Unemployee I hope to begin to repay this hero for saving my family and countless others.

What can we do to give this story a proper, justified ending?
Repair the Casa do Passal! With an awesome design comes awesome publicity. Through creating a temporary art pavillon instillation at the site of the home I hope to garnish worldwide support for the story to be rectified through the repair of the home and its transformation into a modern museum. Repairing the now broken ending by turning it on its head, we can now provide a space for his family to celebrate, not mourn.

My Grandfather and Great-Grandfather, both architects, were saved from almost certain death in WWII Europe, through the heroic and selfless acts of Aristides de Sousa Mendes.
I have dedicated this proposal to the memory of the man who saved them, in hopes of jump-starting and seeing to it that Dr. Mendes' story is spread, the Casa Do Passal is restored as a museum, and Aristides' legacy is celebrated and that his families’ honor is restored once and for all. The Sousa Mendes family has suffered for generations as the result of a great deed. 30,000 visas signed against government orders was the epitome of using ones job for good. It is time that this deed gets its due. Finally, UNhate is an opportunity to push back against many miscarriages of justice.

The restoration and design of the Casa do Passal goes well beyond the scope of a simple architectural proposal. It must result in a place that embues dignity, fosters education and ultimately echoes the deeds of Aristides de Sousa Mendes in perpetuity. I hope you can join me in the UNhate community to promote the values of someone who was blinded by love.

"I could not have acted otherwise, and I therefore accept all that has befallen me with love."
-Aristides de Sousa Mendes


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