Valley of Cambrai. Former Martins & Rebello factory reopens doors for ‘time travel’

Tomorrow in the Vale de Cambra, actor Antonio Capelo will stage a performance that will bring together 300 actors, technicians and artists from the local community to explore scenarios and memories of the emblematic dairy that closed in 2001. “Factory – Memories and Dreams” will consist of one exhibition and will take place in different outdoor areas of the former Martins & Rebello industrial complex, which in the middle of the twentieth century It employed 700 people at the same time, fed hundreds of families in this region of Aveiro, and produced products such as Vigormalte chocolate powder, Castelões cheese and Primor butter.

It is with more or less direct references to brands, machines, workers, routines, habits and even “small transgressions” from the heyday of the factory, between 1950 and 1970, António Capelo with his team from the Teatro do Bolhão and the corresponding ACE – School of Art – put together a show that, while based on historical research and testimonies from former workers, eschews documentary footage and favors “the imagination, the whimsical and the fantastic.”

“When we came to see the factory buildings, we realized that there were many restrictions and that we could not use the interior spaces as they were very degraded and not safe, but we soon saw the potential of the exterior areas and that it would be a very rich time travel. , through memories and through some wonderful aspects of the life and work of the people who walked here,” Antonio Capelo told Luce between instructions for technicians and translators.

“This is a very rich environment for traveling through time, through memories and through some wonderful aspects of the life and work of the people who once walked here,” emphasizes Antonio Capelo.

Pointing to the territory of the complex, the actor says that it was there, for example, that “people were groped when they left the factory to check if they had taken hidden cheeses home”; pointing to another area, he says that it was a machine and car workshop, because the company “was self-sufficient and itself guaranteed the maintenance of its equipment”; referring to the other corner, he calls it “the wall of shame” because it was here that the local boys sat during their shift change “to judge the girls and send them some jokes”.

António Neves, now 71, laughs at the memory, confirming that even young people from Aroc, Severa and Azemeis used to circle the area “to watch the cheese makers go by.” Antonio Neves is one of the residents of the Vale de Cambra who participate in the exhibition as a member of the Association for the Promotion and Development of Castelões and is delighted to see Martins & Rebello now with a dynamic reminiscent of that of its “time”. glory, when the movement was constant, the factory was a national standard and everything revolved around it.

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