As part of the 136th anniversary celebrations the Port of Lisbon presented the city with a mural artwork from the Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto, aka Vhils,and a book edited by the Portuguese journalist Ferreira Fernandes, about the Second World War refugees in the mid-1940s, and how Lisbon and the port were crucial for them.
The artwork produced by Vhils was inspired by the photograph Roger Kahan, a French Jewish refugee himself who used the port of Lisbon as a gateway to escape from the war. Vhils’ art intervention recreated the photograph of a Jewish refugee next to a mailbox, at Gare Marítima da Rocha Conde de Óbidos, before embarking on a transatlantic voyage. The artwork can be found exactly next to this same post box, which still exists today.
The photograph was initially reminded in some journalistic articles by Ferreira Fernandes and inspired him to write the book “O Cais da Europa, Roger Kahan, refugiado, fotógrafo – Lisboa, 1940”. This book was launched on October 31st, precisely in Gare Marítima da Rocha Conde de Óbidos.
About Vhils – Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto (b. 1987) has been interacting visually with the urban environment under the name of Vhils since his days as a prolific graffiti writer in the early-to-mid 2000s. His groundbreaking bas-relief carving technique – which forms the basis of the Scratching the Surface project and was first presented to the public at the VSP group exhibition in Lisbon in 2007 and at the Cans Festival in London the following year –, has been hailed as one of the most compelling approaches to art created in the streets in the last decade.
For more information – https://vhils.com/about/