Washington DC has Portuguese ads on its buses

Buses in the United States capital of Washington DC will have Portuguese ads on them for the first three weeks of March.

It’s all part of an advertising campaign to get the word out about the ‘Iberian Suite’, an event currently taking place at the Kennedy Center and focusing on the Portuguese and Spanish cultures.

The campaign is being run by the New York-based Arte Institute, which has come up with the festival’s programme, involving art exhibitions, concerts and other events.

Institute director Ana Ventura Miranda told Lusa news agency that the campaign is using pictures of art works on display at the festival, as opposed to images of Portugal.

The ads also include small phrases from Portuguese writers loosely translated into English, such as José Saramago’s ‘Sempre chegamos ao sítio aonde nos esperam’. Considering the ads are placed on buses, the sentence appropriately translates as ‘In the end, we always arrive at the place where we are expected’.

On the Kennedy Center’s website, ‘Iberian Suite’ is described as “a major festival highlighting the many cultures that comprise the Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking peoples – the impact they’ve had throughout the world, and the vast influences they’ve embraced from other cultures”.

The festival, which began on Tuesday, March 3 and will be running until March 24, will include dozens of performances by Iberian artists, some of whom will be making their US début, such as the Portuguese band The Gift.