Fogo Island

BY Lisa Lindblad

November 11, 2011

Fogo Island:  The landscape is startling and honest, unsentimental and unafraid.  The weather is a member of the community…the winds at the edge of the North Atlantic make cheeks burn and eyes water in February, but its breezes are a benediction on a warm July afternoon.  Architecture here fights for life.  Always poised at the edge, making the inhabitable habitable, but is ultimately part of the land.  It is not  uncommon for a herd of caribou to stroll past or a humpback whale to sail into the air as massive icebergs cruise southward in the middle of the summer.  Partridgeberries flourish in the fall despite the everywhere rock, and many-coloured wildflowers spring up to make the most of a short but exceptional season.

Fogo is a remote island off the coast of a remote island.

The signature experiences of Fogo Island:

  • Fogo Island Inn – a unique and architecturally stunning building at the very edge of the North Atlantic, destined to become one of the world’s great rural inns
  • Fogo Island Arts Corporation – a contemporary art venue of international significance promoting entrepreneurship, sustainability and resilience through the arts, providing both residences for visiting arts and stimulating production
  • Contemporary Artist Studios – 6 unique, off-grid artist studios providing working spaces for visiting artists – in additiona to gallery and project spaces
  • Outport Experiences – life experiences of Fogo Island coastal communities gathered through storytelling, songs, and more
  • Regional Cuisine – using the diversity of local products
  • Fish & All Things Fish – a complete immersion in the fishing culture of Fogo Island and Change Island with trips to sheds and wharves, stages and stores; fishing excursions for cod-pot cod, squid0jigging, capelin catching, lobster fishing, constructing fishing nets and lobster pots with inshore fish harvesters.  See how the indigenous art of boat building still survives thanks to the  Shorefast Foundation
  • Marine Encounters – Explore the coastal and ocean ecosystems of Fogo Island and Change Island with excursions at sea to observe whales, sharks, seals and icebergs.
  • Textile Crafts – Orientation to the traditional crafts of quilting, knitting, hooking, wood carving

And more and more.

There is theatre and film, foraging and festivals – all of these sponsored and nurtured by the Shorefast Foundation:

The Shorefast Foundation is anchored in this place and in a set of principles:

We believe in community and the inherent qualities and strengths and character of the people in a community.

We believe in the importance of roots and heritage and that looking at what has formed us in the past is essential to building a strong future.

We believe that there is a future for rural communities and that future is built on innovation, resilience, optimism and the ability to adapt.

And we believe the arts have a pivotal role to play in finding the path forward.

Just fascinating.

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Art & Design Flourishing in Cape Town