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Conference Image


In search of the right coordinates for Family Medicine

The graphic image developed for the 19th WONCA Europe Conference, to be hosted in Lisbon in 2014, is built around a central visual concept: the astrolabe. Why the astrolabe?
Because this was a crucial navigation instrument in the discoveries undertaken by the Portuguese sailors from the 14th century onwards, representing a cutting-edge technology of the time and a quite portable way for explorers to orientate themselves, in uncharted seas.

The nautical astrolabe – as used by the Portuguese adventurers – had its roots in a more standard form of astrolabe, perfected by Islamic cultures to determine with precision the time of day and the proper moment for daily prayers (it was probably created in the 8th century, drawing inspiration from the teachings of ancient Greek manuscripts). Later, it arrived on the Iberian Peninsula after the Muslim invasions and became a widespread tool for sea exploration. Without it, the fearless pioneers that set sail from the Portuguese coast would have never achieved the great deeds that granted them a place in History. In short, it would have been impossible for the Portuguese people to have given new worlds to the world, as indeed happened during the course of four centuries.

So, the astrolabe (now stylized and enriched with an appealing and fresh palette of colors) reveals itself a perfect symbol for the 19th WONCA Europe Conference. In fact, this great scientific meeting adopted as its motto “the discovery of New Routes for General Practice and Family Medicine”, new routes that will be charted with audacity, vision and imagination, in very much the same way the Portuguese vessels crossed the oceans, during the discoveries era. 

Other graphic elements merge themselves with the astrolabe, to help identify the spirit and context of the event. In particular, the Belém Tower’s silhouette (one of the Portuguese capital’s main attractions) and the spiral, a geometric shape that embodies the challenges to overcome in the future and the paths leading us towards the horizon. 

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Last update 2017-02-02