Updated: Oct 21, 2021
The following two EU STAR Lisbon meetings on Thursday were organized by Clube Intercultural Europeu in collaboration with the expert António Brito Guterres and ALDA (European Association for Local Democracy). The first one was called Street Art for Social Inclusion: Perspetives and Examples, while the second one was an interactive and funny workshop managed by the Project Manager from France, Nadia di Iulio, and Camilla from Florence.
António Brito Guterres is both an investigator in urban studies and a member of Aga Khan Foundation Portugal. During his talk he explained his professional - both theoretical and practical - experience in the artfield assisting the residents in activating different territories of the greater Lisbon area. Apart from his deep reflection on the subject, he has been a central actor in developing cultural and social interventions in several communities. He developed these social activities contributing to the promotion of housing as a right and reflecting on public policies, colonial memories in the city and non-conventional processes of knowledge acquisition. Actually, he has been active in assisting the cultural and artistic production in different neighbourhoods and in the creation of urban narratives such as As Costas da Cidade, the project presented on the previous day by project coordinator Nuno. In conclusion, his intervention was mainly based on the importance of including the locals in artistic interventions, to raise their awareness of their socio-cultural environment and the public policies related to it. He also pointed out the importance of urban art for social and communitarian inclusion to develop an equal and fair city, suggesting several effective practices and methodologies on how to actively engage the community in the socio-artistic requalification processes.
This activity was composed of both theory - through a powerpoint presentation about several Italian projects - and practice - through playing two group games and call to action.
Premising that every country has its own constraints established by local society, its own perspective of a single project and that in this case everything was designed for Italy,
Camilla started her theoretical explanation with a series of questions to which she answered making corresponding examples. Can we make art and performances without an audience? What is a compromise? What are the limits we have to face while making art?
First instance: COLLETTIVO LOREDANA project (collective Loredana) was created for the promotion of women who made art in different artfield. Taking into account social studies assuming that in Italy there is sometimes a propensity to prejudice, they find a solution to this problem and perception of the female ideal with communication strategy and checked the reaction on social media
Second instance: Cheap festival was a street art project in Bologna, like a call to all artists centered on the thematic of post-Corona; it was also called “indispensability”: as artfield and culture suffered a lot during this period there was the need to emphasize the importance of the (in)tangible. For this activity they had limits of space and they also had to be very careful, because in the end the result should be a poster and a mistake should be taken into account.
Third instance: Svegliatevi bambine project (translation and context: florentinian song that says “it’s spring, wake up girls!”) focused on the realisation of a postcard about equal gender and minority opportunity, considering the sad tendency of some categories to accept without fighting the condition society wants to impose for them. The message encouraged people to rebel against social prejudice and move to action, most of all after corona amplifying this situation.
After, Nadia proposed a group game with the purpose of first creating an artistic project and then finding solutions to each limit society imposes during the process of creation itself. In simple terms, we were asked to spread and promote our own social message taking into account the time frame, location, budget and community/target group. As the online group was made of four women, we decided to launch the hashtag #ianmawomen and worldwide flash mobs to raise awareness - through art and cultural heritage- of the inequality which can still be found in every corner of the world when it’s about gender. As far as the constraints are concerned, Gianna Gardeweg, Andrejka Vabič Nose, Dzenana Dedic and I chose to develop our idea both in every significant cultural public place and online with a time frame of 1 year and 500 000 € as budget. Subsequently, we were asked to carry out the same project with several limits of budget (100€), of time (1 month) and space (we could exploit just private properties: it was surprising how everything changed and how tiktok and private windows were the only solution we could suggest!
Conclusions and a looking towards the future
What I have learned and confirmed during these two funny and busy days as a mediator is that different people from different European countries and social working positions can still share a very engaged and deep conversation considering street art as a social tool to democracy and inclusion. What was surprising and extremely interesting was learning about how each nationality developed locally the main idea agreed in the previous meeting of Arcugnano.
As already mentioned in the previous article DAY 1: EU STAR Conference - Lisbon, he third international meeting will be in Peja (Kosovo) with the partners sharing the results of the second phase of their local paths for which they were asked to collaborate with local actors (schools) and organize awareness-raising workshops for students on social inclusion. Moreover, an art expert will deliver a workshop on using street art for urban regeneration, followed by creation of a mural in Peja by street art artists and the participants. Then the partners will choose, according to the results of phase 1 and 2 of the local path, at least 1 public space to paint. Murals will be created in each country involving artists and local citizens (and students) to regenerate targeted areas and promote intercultural understanding and social inclusion.
Last but not least, our city of Amsterdam will host in April the final event where artists, citizens and partners will share the results of the implementation of the local and international events and murals.