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My home: let's create a fairy tale

“My Home: Let’s Create a Fairy-Tale” Laboratory, was held in Renovate Mouraria Association, in Mouraria’s neighborhood (Lisbon), from 10-13 April and 5 May, 2017, during five days. That Eastern vacation, sixteen children (between 6 and 12 years old), residents in the neighborhood, and from low-income families, participated in these artistic communitarian activities.  The group was multicultural, being the majority of them from Nepal and Portugal. The Lab was coordinated by Ana Moya, and it was designed and implemented with the collaboration of the plastic artist and designer of communication Leonor Brilha. Together they created an experimental methodological artistic participative approach specific for this case-study and this target group. Every afternoon, and during three hours, the kids explored the creativity of fairy-tale narratives, looking at the different elements that constitute the structure of the story – scenography, characters and narrative. In reality, the goal was to give them the space and artistic tools to be able to observe and express their imaginary worlds, how they relate to their close environments, and their sense of belonging to their daily urban spaces. We gave them the opportunity to experiment with the power of observation and body experimentation, trusting in their senses and their eyes, ears and hands, in order to represent and abstract their close environments using their imagination, memory and sensorial experiences. The techniques employed were drawing, painting, photography, sound recording, audio-visuals, shadow theater, custom design and performance.

The aim of the Lab was to discover which are the kids’ emotional and experiential daily urban spaces, and bring them to life through observation, listening, dialogue, interaction, action, movement, performance and representation. Our goal was to map a “cartography of their emotions”. This cartography was an original and site-specific artistic material, result of the mapping of subjective universes that appear in their physical interaction with the close environment, recalled and interpreted through an artistic language. Their artistic work, as a result, expresses their inner imaginary world, with their emotions, wishes, intensities, rhythms, and memories.  The artistic methodological processes applied in this Lab involved the performativity of their bodies and their sensorial and emotional awareness. As a result it was possible to observe and study the kids’ subjective engagement with their urban space, and their patterns of experience and perception. 

The work methodology of the laboratory was structured in three movements:  Space Recognition, Interpreting the Body in Space , and Communicating a Somatic Landscape.




Aeesh (8, Nepal), Rojan (8, Nepal), Afonso (7, Portugal), Martim (11, Portugal), Prince (7, Nepal), Tiago (10, Portugal), Samana (10, Nepal), Angel (7, Nepal), Dipensi (11, Nepal), Maycon (12, Portugal), Rafael (11, Portugal), Bruna (7, Portugal), Manswi (11, Nepal), Karina (7, Nepal), Alex (12, Portugal), Kaliany (10, Nepal). Volunteers: Isabel Serodio, Rita Correia, Ana Margarida Brito, Inês Passos, Alex Gama. Logistics: Almudena Ferro, Priscila Barbosa (Renovar a Mouraria). Promotor: Filipa Bolotinha (Vice-director Renovar a Mouraria). 

support and collaboration

Renovar a Mouraria socio-cultural association (Lisbon) collaborated and promoted the participative artistic laboratory “My Home, let’s create a fairy tale”, coordinated by the Center of Art History and Artistic Research (CHAIA, U. Évora) 

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