Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

Rui Pina Coelho (Portugal)

The old sendentary and the young adventurer

O Velho Sedentário e o Jovem Aventureiro: O velho professor é uma espécie de agricultor sedentário & O jovem aluno é uma espécie de aventureiro dos mares (Portuguese)

Text Extract

(From “The young schoolboy is a sort of sea adventurer”)

I like maps.
I like maps because I do not want to get lost.
We, the young, we, the children, we, the students,
we make up Maps because we do not want to get lost.
I like maps because life is traveling. Life is: travel.
Mapping and tracing.
I like maps because I do not want to get lost.
well, we, the ones who are always from on one side to another,
watching and hearing the world go forward, like maps.

We the ones who drink from the experience that goes from mouth to mouth, we, the ones who are a kind of sea adventurers, the young students,
We like maps
I have a map with many stories,
that I have learned while I was working around the world, learning and knowing many stories and traditions.

My story has my marks engraved in it, like the sail of a ship bears the marks of the different winds that have pushed it.

I tell and teach ancient stories, of many cities, many countries, to the ones that want to hear me. Can I make a map with my stories.

I’ll tell a story as if I was traveling through a road. My road.

A story.
It starts like this:
Two steps to the right,
Three steps to the left
Jump back and brings:
Are you flying …
Hoist the sail,
Loose moorings
And you are flying …
The “x” indicates the place.
If there is a map: there is a treasure.
And if there’s a treasure, it’s me who is going to find it.

A story. Another story. Long long time ago.
A story with an accident on the playground.

It was my last day of classes before summer vacation. And this story began when one day a boy from school, come to me from behind, tapped on my shoulder and punched me in the belly without explanation, i could not even see his face, I stood there grabbing my belly without being able to breathe , I thought I was going to die. For the entire week I was always looking over my shoulder. Several weeks later since I had forgotten what had happened when I was tapped on the shoulder and another punch in my stomach, even cried, but I got an idea of he was. This was repeated throughout the year, whenever I had forgotten it I was punched again. I Just thought on the last day of school you’ll see.
It was the last day and my mom got me from school by the hand, and I kept thinking about the punches on my belly , I turned to my mother and told her I had to return to the playground because I had forgotten something . By far saw the rogue and nervously approached him from behind, he was talking to someone, I tapped his shoulder, he turned around and I punched him in the stomach … he was in shock. The girl who was with him was beautiful, African with hair – she could never forget her, she was beautiful. She looked at me very reproachfully, I turned back and went away without running, but hurrying, I even glanced back to see my rival holding his belly. But I was revolted because the girl was consoling him

Could not continue there. I had to change school. Set sail and left.
Towards another school search of treasure that is hidden
for sure the playground of a school – I just do not know which … shush …


The old sedentary and the young adventurer: The old teacher is a sort of sedentary farmer & The young schoolboy is a sort of sea adventurer

The schoolyards, that we used to know, no longer exist. Everything has changed. The buildings have changed. The teachers have changed. The schoolchildren have changed. Everything has changed. What stories are we supposed to tell? Which stories can we tell? Here today, we have two storytellers: one is an old professor, a sort of a sedentary farmer; the other is a young schoolboy, a sort of a sea adventurer. One loves lists. The other can’t live without his maps. Both tell school stories. All sorts of stories. The Old Sedentary, which has never left his hometown and is half buried in is own schoolyard, will describe and list the changes that time has imposed on the World and on himself. The Young Adventurer will tell describe and tell everything about the various schoolyards that he visited during the years and about his own changes. What can we tell but stories?


© Ru Pina Coelho


1st opening Teatro O Bando, Palmela (PT) March 20, 2010

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