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Workshop Interpreting Voices

Interpreting voices. Photo: Teresa Eca

The Starting point was the concept of tourist gaze :

The tourist gaze keeps the sensory surface of a place, the attentive impression of the stranger …
The local gaze keeps the sense of place with memories of life experience feelings of a life time in a place …
Can we make an interaction between tourist and local gaze?

The starting point was discussed with a small group of artists, art teachers and cultural agents from the city ( Viseu anti-poverty League; Viseu cineclube; Emporium ). The elements of the group provided an alternative map of the city , almost all of them had been involved with social-cultural projects with non-profit and charitable organisations. So one of the focus of the discussion led us to look for alternative places and people in the city. To collect stories from people that are not often visible to foreign visitors. During July- September 2011 we discussed the rationales of the project, ethical, ontological and practical issues related to the topic. We defined general lines and a plan of action. It was agreed that we would involve communities that already had participated in artist or school projects, ways of getting in contact with them were established. We also agreed in asking local artists to lead the workshops in the second part of the project.

Part 1: The Hidden Stories (October 2011)
During October 2011 students and art teachers from the host schools in Viseu ( ESAM and Viriato) made pictures and interviews with special members of the community .

Part two: Interpreting Stories
In November Viseu students received the students from the other schools ( Finland; Latvia ad Estonia). After showing them around so they could get the tourist gaze. Students were invited to join five workshops with local artists ( Ana Barbero; Yuraldi Rodriguez; Luis Belo; Beatriz Rodrigues , Beatriz Lacerda; and Graeme Pullynen, Contra- Luz designers ), five ways of reflecting upon their own feelings and the stories collected by Portuguese students in October ( transcribed to images and text- translated to English) . Crossing feelings , sharing experiences …
In the last day of the visit students made a Public presentation and discussion, with the members
of the community .

2011 / Comenius IDEAlab Project

Read in local language

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This workshop was planned by Portuguese art teachers and artists from Viseu in Portugal to introduce
concepts of dialogic and community arts to a visiting Group of COMENIUS’ students from five European countries during two days in November 2011 .
The proposal to the visitors, 45 art students from Latvia; Estonia and Finland, was a community art based project in the city of Viseu, Portugal with the collaboration of 20 art students from the host schools and 8 local artists. Community arts are also known by community based art or community engaged arts. With this term we refer artistic activities based in community settings. Works from this genre can be of any art forms and are characterise by interaction or dialogue with the community.
Since the time of the Comenius participants visit was very short to make a community arts based project respecting a true interaction or dialogue with the community and since there were several ethical and linguistic problems involved we proposed a workshop divided in two parts: Part one: ‘Hidden Stories’ developed by the Portuguese students and Part 2: ‘ Interpreting Stories’ developed by the international group.

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