Gisela Casimiro

- Portugal -

Gisela Casimiro (Guinea-Bissau, 1984) is a Portuguese writer, artist, performer, translator and activist. She studied English and Portuguese at NOVA/FCSH. She is the author of Erosão (poetry, Urutau, 2018), Giz(poetry, Urutau, 2023), Casa com Árvores Dentro (theatre play, Companhia de Actores, 2022) and Estendais(nonfiction, Caminho, 2023). She translated Audre Lorde's Sister Outsider into Portuguese (Orfeu Negro, 2023). Her work has been translated into Mandarin, Spanish, German and Turkish. She contributed to several magazines and anthologies, emphasising Reconstituição Portuguesa (poetry, Companhia das Letras, 2022), awarded at Cannes. Her poetic sound piece Aviso is part of the prestigious António Cachola Collection. She has been a guest on various television and radio programs and podcasts. She participated in festivals, talks, and exhibitions in Portugal, Turkey, Macau, Mozambique, Spain, Cape Vert, Germany, Belgium, Romania, Croatia, Angola, Lithuania, Austria and Brazil.

A storyteller and a child of immigration, Casimiro works on identity, the body, memory, trauma, racism, post-colonialism and everyday life across all areas of creation. Along words, her practice involves photography, installation, collage and sound. A former member of INMUNE - Instituto da Mulher Negra (Institute for Black Women), Casimiro is also a founding member of UNA - União Negra das Artes, a union for black artists. This activism is present all over her work. Earlier in 2020, her poem Quando for grande, on racism and police brutality, was spread across Lisbon as a part of her first solo art show, focused on visual poetry. A run-in with the police led to a court case and censorship of the poem, with the person posting the signs and the curator, Ana Cristina Cachola being defendants in an accusation for an offense to the police. Casimiro was heard a year later, it being discussed on national tv and in newspapers by prominent persons, and finally being archived. Other notable moments were when she created and hosted the podcast "Temos de falar" (2021-2022). She was also the Literature curator of Lisboa Criola in 2022. Her work was the theme of a session of the Clube dos Poetas Vivos at TNDMII, with Teresa Coutinho in 2021. She was one of the 48 authors whose words were scattered around Lisbon as part of the "April in Lisbon" project (2022). Recently she was a guest author at the DISQUIET International Literary Program 2023, in which she participated in a reading and debate with Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah. Also In 2023, her verses were selected for Casa Fernando Pessoa's "Poesia Estendida" initiative. Since 2022, she has co-coordinated the Reading Club at the Batalha Cinema Center in Porto.


“If, before the launch of this book, (...) Gisela Casimiro was recognised as a new voice in Portuguese and Lusophone literature, capable of crossing continents and cultures, Estendais confirms her as an extraordinary storyteller. Her prose has the power of a gleaner with a Midas touch, which makes her capable of finding (or transforming) the smallest episode into an exciting and moving story. Her attention to detail and willingness to listen greatly contributed to this.” 

– Luís Ricardo Duarte in Jornal de Letras, 2023


"These are little recipes for survival that Gisela shares with us: irony, hope, her mother's tomato jam, the freckles on someone's skin or the intimate relationship with what transcends her. These poems bear witness to physical and emotional movements, they are the passage that the word opens from wound to scar, because among many other things, "the poem is the verb to save". I would therefore say that this erosion is above all the promise of a future form."

– André Tecedeiro, 2018


"Let's continue to read more of Gisela Casimiro and see the power of her art interfere with the state of affairs. Then we can better understand the threats surrounding us and protect ourselves in a time when freedom of expression is still part of our constitution." 

– Sara F. Costa in Revista Caliban, 2020


“Gisela Casimiro shares her pains, joys and dreams and those of the people she meets on public transportation, in markets, on the street, in life, like a prospector who knows how to recognise the richness of mundane stories.”

– Bernardo Mendonça, in Expresso, 2023


“It would be impossible in the space of this review to make a minimally capable analysis of all the threads that run throughout these texts. Race, feminism, violence, travel, cachupa, refugees, happiness and sadness, broad and specific dramas, and plenty of love and tenderness. Everything fits in this book and it is in this life that its greatest strength lies.” 

– João Zamith in Setenta e Quatro, 2023


"Her writing mixes prosaic everyday life with poetic beauty and sociological statements about human beings."

– Ana Maria Ribeiro in Correio da Manhã, 2023