Research Projects
A-Place – Linking Places through Networked Artistic Practices

The A-Place Project, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union (2019-2023), is a platform for creation, debate and experimentation on the sense of belonging and identity, in inhabited areas and places shared by citizens of multiple origins and cultures. The project seeks to involve diverse groups of people – artists, community, architects, students, academics and local entities, etc. – in creative events, in order to activate and transform public spaces. The program includes artistic and placemaking activities, over four years, in six European cities: Barcelona, ​​Bologna, Brussels, Lisbon, Ljubljana, and Nicosia.

The Project takes place in a contemporary context of great challenges, with regard to the experience and living in the urban public space; a context of major socio-cultural and economic transformations that contributed to the emergence of the so-called “non-places”. That is, spaces in which people feel incapable of creating meaningful affective bonds. “Non-places” can also be seen as a result of processes of globalization, gentrification, alienation, migration and mass tourism. To counter these trends, A-Place engages artists and communities, seeking to reinvent notions of place latent in socio-physical environments, in order to reconnect people with these places.

This way, the creative practices implemented by the Project’s network aim to create places with meaning, contributing to the development of more inclusive and supportive communities. While seeking to transform spaces, through cultural action and site-specific art, among other creative spatial practices, the partners also reflect on the meaning and values ​​underlying the creation and experience of these same places. The multiple proposals for creative intervention, exhibitions and creation of video art works, etc., among other activities to be carried out throughout the program, configure forms of participatory research (action research) and methodologies that propose artistic practices as catalysts to improve and connect communities. Activities are created with communities and for communities:

(2022) “A (Re)Connecting Place”

“A Reconnecting Place” is an activity to be developed in “Bairro do Rego”, a cosmopolitan neighbourhood located in the centre of Lisbon. The activity is based on the concept of movement and cycle of eternal return, metaphorized by the idea of ​​the four seasons (of nature, life, places, etc.). The actions to be developed, with the collaboration of the “Passa Sabi” Association, follow this idea, through the activation of four public spaces in this neighbourhood, involving various creative actions. The activities will have the participation of the neighbourhood community, NOVA FCSH doctoral students, as well as artists and researchers, with the aim of activating the public space through a set of activities designed with, and for, the Rego neighbourhood. Read more

(2021) “A Future Place”

“A Future Place” included a set of creative and learning activities, namely: a) A poetry and prose contest – “My Neighbourhood… My Place” -, aimed at all residents of Bairro Padre Cruz; b) A “Sarau” where the Participants of the contest read their poems and reflections; c) Four creative workshops (e.g. “Photography”, “Illustration”, “Creative Writing” and “Sports Leadership Techniques”); and d) A virtual exhibition – “Neighbourhood Through My Lens” – that disseminates the work done by young people and children from the “Bairro Padre Cruz”, who participated in the Photography Workshop. All activities were developed by the Lisbon team of the A-PLACE Project at NOVA University (NOVA FCSH / Ifilnova), with the collaboration of the “Amigos da Luz” Association, and the participation of students from the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences in the implementation phase. Read more

(2020) “A (Travelling) Sound Place”

“A Sound Place” involved the collaborative creation of a cultural soundscape of the surroundings of Martim Moniz – “Bairro da Mouraria” – through the collection of sound perceptions of artists, residents and non-residents, and using them as material for the creation of musical pieces that were later performed, in a concert-installation, by Duo Contracello (Adriano Aguiar and Miguel Rocha), Henrique Portovedo and Jaime Reis, at the Innovation Center in Mouraria. The creative process was led by “Lisboa Incomum” Association, and the musical pieces were created by the composers Jaime Reis and João Quinteiro, with the participation of students from the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa. The preparation, implementation and communication phases had the participation of students from the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities. Read more.