Accepted paper:

Anthropological contributions for participated public art: the case of the monument to cultural diversity in the Fróis Urban Park, Almada (Portugal)


Gerbert Verheij (CIEBA – Centro de Estudos em Belas Artes, Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade de Lisboa)
Filipa Ramalhete (Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa)
Maria Assunção Gato (Dinamia-CET /ISCTE-IUL)
Sergio Vicente (Faculty of Fine Arts of Lisbon)

Paper short abstract:

Starting from the results of a public art experience realized in Almada, Portugal, this paper approaches the relevance of anthropological contributions to the development of participated public art practices in which the creative process is shared with local communities.

Paper long abstract:

This paper intends to demonstrate the relevant contribution that Anthropology can give to participative, multidisciplinary processes in public art, based on an experience of a public art project developed between July 2011 and July 2012 in Almada, Portugal. This project consists in the installation (in Autumn 2012) of three sculptures in the newly constructed Fróis Urban Park, located in the Monte de Caparica district, a residential area marked by low incomes and a very diverse cultural composition. The Park - part of a larger urban regeneration project - includes several municipal equipments (library, pool, associative centre) and intends to be a place of leisure which will qualify the public space, promote inclusiveness and connect this neighbourhood with the surrounding urban area. The social and cultural diversity of this area led the municipality to propose the construction of an artwork inspired in the concept of multiculturalism. An interdisciplinary team comprising artists, anthropologists and educators developed an open methodology in order to promote a common space for different groups and allow the effective involvement of the population in the creative process. Based on this experience, we want to discuss, from the viewpoint of public art, the relevance and usefulness of the anthropological perspective to this type of methodologies, focusing especially on the interdisciplinary dialogue about the relational space of this community and it's significations and on it's translation into feasible and effective processes of participation.

panel G15
Re-thinking collaboration: between research and socio-political interventions