Chôros’ Porto Meeting, held in Porto on 11 and 12 September 2015, was the first gathering of the group of partners, the moment for stablishing a sense of cohesion. The begining of the consolidation of a group spirit, bringing together partners from 5 different countries, with diverse contexts, visions and expectations.
During two days, Porto’ meeting sought to focus the project on the community engagement theme.
11 September @ Palácio das Artes * Kickstart meeting and Capacity Building Workshop.
Porto’ Capacity Building Workshop was based on Setepés experience in developing community development projects, covering urban development and urban regeneration concerns. The highlight was on 2 different projects:
- “Vivacidade”, a project developed in the frame of “Actors of Urban Change“, a program aiming at fostering Urban Development through Cultural Activities and Cross-Sector Collaboration in Europe;
- “Couros. CampUrbis. Involvement of local population“, a project promoted by Guimarães Municipality aiming at involving inhabitants from this neighboorhood – Couros – to understand the urban regeneration program they were involved in, intervening in the community.
These approaches were important in order to create a wider frame on community development methodologies and scopes.
12 September @ Fábrica Social – Fundação Escultor José Rodrigues * Meeting other community development projects
On the second day, Setepés invited institutions and projects actively involved in community development activities through artistic practices working in Porto region. The goal of this meeting was to bring together distinctive approaches that could generate significant contamination with Chôros.
Several Portuguese projects and institutions accepted to share with Chôros partners their experiences on community development activities. It was a morning of presentations and debate. Two different projects were highlighted and configured the leitmotif for debate and sharing experiences and ideas:
An artistic structure based in Porto, established in 2007. Since its creation, works in the affirmation of theatre as a privileged space for dialogue and collective creation, guiding the work processes by the principle of placing individuals and communities at the centre of the artistic creation.
PELE is the promoter of MEXE Festival, an annual festival of Art and Community. MEXE is a festival that has affirmed as one of the compelling spaces in Portugal and Europe from crossing artistic community practices. Simultaneously with the programming of the Festival (theatre, dance and documentary), PELE also held the International Reflection Meeting on Community Art Practices. This meeting aimed to promote reflection, considering the importance that these practices have been acquiring within the contemporary artistic creations, inseparable manifestations of social and cultural experiences of the community.
- Empowerment of communities
- Balance between ethics, aesthetics and efficiency assuming the artistic creation as a tool for community, social and economic development, contributing to social and territorial cohesion.
- Participation and combat of cultural centralization
- Increasing Training activities in communities
- Certification by participating in community development through artistic projects.
- “In the community, about the community, by the community, to the community”.
- “If we are capable of doing theatre, we are capable of doing other things”.
B. Project “Oupa!”
(Oupa! is a typical Oporto expression that means “come on”, do something!)
Oupa! is a social, cultural and artistic project focused on music, in particular hip-hop music. It was promoted by the Municipality of Porto and coordinated by a Psychologist (Gisela Borges), artistically directed by a national known hip-hop rap singer (Capicua), and followed by other musicians, a filmmaker and social workers.
Oporto has many social housing neighbourhoods (more than 50), some of them being known as real ghettos. Most of them are in the east part of the city. “Bairro do Cerco” is the name of the chosen ghetto. It was chosen not only because it is one of the biggest, with many problems to be addressed, but because it’s the one that has less social and community support.
- Culture as a way to know the history of a place and a way to enter in a territory, to improve the identity of the ones who live there.
- Connect people by shrinking the border between the centre and these suburbs.
- Work with teenagers and young adults, that are no longer in school nor working.
- Built collective memory for the future.
- Main issues addressed: identity and belonging to this ghetto, stigmas, labels.
- Create original themes, telling their own stories.
- Duration of the project: 4 months.
- Results: a concert at the Rivoli Municipal Theatre, a CD edited, videoclips, documentary, a new music studio in the ghetto to be built.