Programming and Special Events
Festival Vapor, A Steampunk Circus
Shortlisted as Best Indoor Festival dos Iberian Festival Awards.
Festival Vapor is a branch off the “Produtos Turísticos integrados de Base Intermunicipal” Programme, being sponsored by the Municipality of Entroncamento, in a joint initiative of Fundação Museu Nacional Ferroviário, Turismo do Centro and Comunidade Intermunicipal do Médio Tejo.
The setting is perfect: large machines, many ranging from the steam locomotive era, and fully preserved industrial buildings host Festival Vapor, an event that offers a wide array of activities such as music, theatre, performing arts, cinema, games, conversations, workshops, exhibitions and parades, always inspired by the retro style where modern technology was born from the age of steam engines.
We have held this event consecutively for two years (2018 and 2019), and the Museum is charging ahead to host the third year of Festival Vapor. Everyone can find an echo of their past on this trip that brings us back to the start of the Industrial Revolution. Festival Vapor can cater for all tastes, from purists to occasional enthusiasts, including avant-garde groups; ranging from alternative artistic productions to a simple family-entertaining outing.
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Steampunk is a science fiction subgenre that came to prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It is an aesthetic movement based on the past, in which modern technological developments occurred earlier than in real History (or in a similar parallel universe), though based on the technology available at that time – such as computers made of wood and steam aircrafts.
In a nutshell, Steampunk combines Punk Subculture with the advances enabled by the discovery of the steam technology, having 19th- century Victorian England as a backdrop.
Steampunk aesthetics includes real machines and devices created before their time and/or imaginary machines and instruments based on futurist theories and ideas.
Nowadays, Steampunk aesthetics has evolved much beyond its original concept, incorporating several artistic expressions, such as Fashion, which matches 19th-century styles with current trends and Magical Realism elements.
Steampunk also draws inspiration from Art Nouveau, Neo-Romantic/Gothic and 1950s Existentialism, though deeply rooted in the Victorian period and 19th-century industrialization processes. This would lead to the emergence of Post-Apocalyptical aesthetics in Sixties and Seventies French cartoons, which inspired movies such as Mad Max.
This movement became officially known in 1987 as Steampunk. It acquired widespread international status after an exhibition was organized by Oxford University in 2008.