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The International Illustration Meeting of S. João da Madeira returns, from the 17th to the 21th November, to bring to the city for the 12th time the multifaceted universe of Illustration, in light of the theme Work.

The theme, familiar to this city, whose coat of arms features the word Labour, has the same over compassing potential as previous ones – it can be interpreted as activity, as profession, challenge, creation and invention, repetition, process, effort or construction.

We live in an era when the idea of professional work is being reconfigured, in which the digital and the ascension of robotics lead us to redefine humanity’s role and Man’s relationship with work. In which we are confronted with the possibility of the reduction of work time in our lifespan, replaced by free time to fill. In which we are witnessing the search for a return to a form of work that is closer to nature, such as agriculture, as well as the disappearance of professions and knowhow, lost due to progress and desertification of small cities and rural areas. Work, in some form, defines and shapes the life and experience for each of us.

It is with these aspects in mind that we invite everyone who might be interested to participate in this year’s Illustration Competition, from which 25 selected illustrators will see their work shown at the Finalists Exhibition. This and other exhibitions will be accessible from the 15th September to the 26th October at Torre da Oliva, and will then be transferred to Sala dos Fornos from the 2nd to the 10th November.

Throughout that week will take place workshops at local public schools, workshops open to the public, Guest Illustrator Workshops, Talks, Presentations, Portfolio Reviews and Shows.

This edition’s visual identity was conceived by illustrator João Fazenda, reflecting on the Theme Work. The Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto will be this year’s Guest Institution and the local company responsible for sponsoring the First Prize is Armando Silva.