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Stramurales - Study Visit Spain

Stramurales project was created in Stornara, Puglia, Italy by a group of passionate entrepreneurs who managed to build a collection of 100 artworks and wanted to learn how to take it to the next step. Stornara is a small sleepy town in Foggia region, and is hardly known as a touristic destination. Until now, that is.

The specific objective of Stramurales is to strengthen and share the inclusive process developed by partners in Stornara, Amsterdam, Gimaraes and La Hoya, as a good learning opportunity for adults, artists and associations, through the promotion of international cooperation. Participatory Urban Art as an European process of Adult Inclusion and Community Development aims to improve the availability of learning opportunities for adults through the enhancement of street art as a social tool for cultural development of communities.

We all met for the first time in Stornara in August 2022. In November 2022, the group has travelled to Amsterdam, where the partners learned from SAMA organisation and stakeholders how to run the growing Street Art non-profit focused on participatory processes and visited the galleries and urban art spots in the city, exploring the myriad of distinct initiatives and ways of creating, presenting and managing street art. In March 2023, we met again in Elche, Spain - a city picked by ACD La Hoya, our Spanish partner and a non-profit focusing on youth work.

This visit was much shorter and less informative. We only met our host ones, as the delegation was assigned to a young volunteer, representing foundation La Hoya. Judith had travelled to Amsterdam on the last study visit and had already met us in person. We met in the evening for a dinner and were very excited to be all together again and explore Spain, as it was the first time for all of us in Elche.


In the morning, our host Eduardo met us at the hotel and took us to a rented room where he shared with us a power point presentation about the ACD LA HOYA organisational, La Hoya suburb where it was situated, story of Elche and Alicante region. After a short coffee break, he talked about European Projects and how a small but focused organisation can expand its horizons and find a way to be financially stable thanks to EU Funding and support. Eduardo explained the risks and pitfall of managing European Projects, as well as paying specific attention to the selection of partners and budget division.

I found the information about EU projects very useful, as this is the 2nd project for SAMA. We are new comers in Erasmus+ field and are learning by doing, which is not always the best way, owing to mistakes being made.

Lunch was in a funny little place called Newton, where we tried local dishes in a classic 'menu style'. In the Netherlands, lunch is a rather minimal affair, so it was curiously to experience a 3-course deal. Jose, an ex-volunteer, and now a full-time paid project manager at ACD La Hoya, has also joined Eduardo for lunch with us. It was interesting to hear his story of growth and personal development, and learn why his organisatioin has a major impact on the life and dynamic of the suburbian village and youths like him.

We walked together to the train station and set-off for our Street Art Adventure in neighbouring Alicante. The first impressions of Alicante at 30 degrees heat was impressive, simply because it has the sea breeze. We had a cold drink at a newly established cafe, that looked very industrial & Berlin style - a definitely standing out hipster cafe - full of young people working on their laptops and enjoying healthy vegan and artesian snacks. Great and unexpected discovery, decorated by a distinctive pieces of street art. Next stop was a street art tour with Street Art Alicante aficionado, who is a professional tour guide on the history of the city, and a passionate promoter of street art. She took us on some 3 hours walk - from her own neighbourhood where graffiti artist Rudi paints a lot and runs his own show - to the city centre, linking officially commissioned murals to the gentrification issues for local people.

It was a different and very interesting take on Graffiti, Hip Hop, Street Art and Municipal Murals; a story of struggle, perseverance and final recognition. A story of a small touristic city experiencing the growing pains of gentrification and change. Critical thinking and questions about the future identity of Alicante were at the core of this meaningful presentation.

A quick "run" to the station to catch the last train, and we found ourselves back in windy Elche. It turned out that for the weekend, when our group was visiting, the climate through some sort of historic resulting in unprecedented wind storm, followed by unbearable heat. The dinner was spearheaded by Judith and Jose, who picked a typical low-budget street cafe, where you get a free beer with each ordered snack. And that was that.

I felt disappointed that at the very end we have not visited either La Hoya - the village, or ACD La Hoya - the organisation. It is a shame that an opportunity to discover a new organisation and a new partner, has ended in a 'project tourism' trip guided by untrained youths. We saw what the tourists see, no more no less. I expected to have a slightly more working focused set-up, as well as to physically visit the hosting partner.




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During the weekend that our party was there, the weather went through a historic change, bringing with it an incredible wind storm and then intolerable heat. basketball stars

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