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  Martin A. Dege

Stichting smARTroots    Newsletters    

No 5 | 2014 smARTroots

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Learning partnerships project:
arts, crafts and traditions
"Intercultural Integration: Arts, crafts and traditions"

Grundtvig-Lisbon-NEWSLETTER 2014 by Ernesta Žukauskaitė (in English)

“When tradition meets today”
June 8 – 13, 2014

In June 8-13, 2014 the Lithuanian Society in Portugal (Associação Lituana em Portugal) has held the last Grundvig project “Intercultural Integration: Arts, crafts and traditions” partner’s meeting. The participants from Germany, Lithuania, The Netherlands and Iceland, and also local participants from Portugal had the chance to get to know better Portuguese traditional culture.

The title of this meeting was “When tradition meets today”, and as the organizer from Lithuanian Society in Portugal Ernesta Žukauskaite Monteiro explained, “It is important to know traditions, but also see, how they can be applied and cherished in modern nowadays society”.

Let’s get to know Fado

Fado: Lisbon’s mournful song and one of the oldest urban folk music in the world; a part of UNESCO’s list of World’s Intangible Cultural Heritage.On the first day of the meeting participants visited Fado museum (Largo do Chafariz de Dentro, nº1, 1100-139 Lisboa The participants got a chance to learn about traditional Portuguese culture of fado music, it’s history and specifics. It was also meant to be an activity to prepare better for listening and understanding fado, when all the participants were going to go to traditional life concert of fado few days later. This project day was optional, as some of the participants were still to arrive in Lisbon.

Find a painted tile!

On the next day of the project the participants were “chasing” traditional Portuguese azulejo painting technique in architecture and interior details on their independent day trip to Sintra, Cascais or Lisbon, etc. One of their tasks was to find azulejo tiles pronounced anywhere in the location, and take pictures of it.

José Franco’s Typical Village and Pottery museum

Tuesday was decicated for visiting Olaria e Aldeia Típica José Franco in Mafra (Estrada Nacional 116 Sobreiro 2640-578 Mafra; ). The participants visited the thematic open air museum – a traditional Portuguese village made of clay, andthe local crafts shop with huge selection of traditional pottery items.

The local craftsman and José Franco’s Typical Village and Pottery museum keeper Mr. Armando Batalha told theparticipants about the traditional pottery, it’s ceramic crafts and the history of the place.

José Franco was a potter and a lover of traditional crafts, and was sorry to see them disappear through time, so he decided to create a thematic village preserving the image, tools and customs of traditional crafts and craftsmen long gone in time. He collected the tools and gathered ideas from the Portuguese villages around Mafra area.

The museum has little rooms representing each traditional craft with mannequins dressed like working craftsmen. Here you can find a lady selling all from fabrics to a glass of wine. A moustached barber, who is also a dentist, or a smith or a carpenter. Not less impressive is an old well in the yard, with little buckets fixed to a turning wheel and lifting water to the surface when a donkey (now only the visitors!) pulled it walking round and round the well.

Wednesday: learn to organize, to create art, and develop a business idea.

First meeting of Wednesday June 11 2014 was held in EGEAC (Palácio Marquês de Tancos, Calçada Marquês de Tancos nº2, 1100-340 Lisboa;, where had a presentation on What is EGEAC and also Short history of Popular marches of Lisbon on St. Antonio’s day.

EGEAC is a Lisbon Municipality’s public enterprise for Management of Facilities and Cultural Animation Enterprise. The cultural equipments under EGEAC’s management are: São Jorge Castle, São Jorge Cinema, Maria Matos Municipal Theatre, Puppet Meum, Fado Museum, Marquês de Pombal Palace, Marquês de Tancos Palace, Monument to the Discoveries, São Luiz Municipal Theatre and Taborda Theatre. EGEAC is also in charge for the programming of diverse initiatives: Festas de Lisboa, Com’Out Lisbon, Lisbon Carnival, Christmas Concerts, Music in the Squares, Roots and Rituals among other cultural events that take place in Lisbon.

Mrs. Helena Pais Costa, Institutional projects and international relations coordinator of EGEAC, told us about their institutional work and also about Lisbon days and its festivities, introducing to its history and traditions. As the participant from Germany Agne Rucyte later commented, this presentation was very informative and useful. It also served as a preparation to next day’s Lisbon festivities and the parade observation, understanding, and photo taking.

Azulejo museum and workshop

Azulejo – from the Arab word, azzelij or al zujeycha, which means “small polished stone”, refers to a ceramic piece, usually squared, with one size glazed. Later the same day the partners explored Museu do Azulejo (National tile museum) (Rua da Madre de Deus, nº 4, 1900-312 Lisboa; with a guide, who explained the historical and artistic intricacies of Azulejo art in Portugal. Azulejo workshop has followed, and the group had a chance to try themselves painting on tiles.

The intriguing part was the colours, as some of them were going to change after the tile was burnt, so you really did not know what will be the final result. Silent and concentrated participants were raising their brushes with the liquid paint, stroking a white tile, and creating their most original works, with the final result only to be seen next day, after the tiles were burnt.

“Sun and fishing” - from old traditions to unique business idea

After the azulejo workshop, “Sole Pesca” bar (Rua Nova do Carvalho 44, 1200-361 Lisboa; surprised the Grundtvig participants with gourmets tuna with seaweed and wine degustation. The owner arquitect Henrique Vaz Pato shared his experience, how old traditions of the place were preserved and helped to develop a unique business idea. It was an old fisherman’s shop that used to sell canned sea food and fishing equipment in what used to be the shabby riverside red light quarter of Lisbon, Cais do Sodré. As the quarter was gentrified, this place became a quite unique tapas bar. As the owner explained, the key of success is due to the fact, that it is the only shop/bar in Portugal with this concept: not only selling canned fish, but also offering visitors an opportunity to try it - a degustation. Also, the place maintained the traditional and original items from the old fisherman’s shop, creating quite unique and nowadays trendy bar interior, showing a respect and highlighting the past. Nowadays, this bar is many times mentioned in many local and international travel and food magazines, TV programs exactly for its originality and unique experience, which would not be possible if not the blend of traditions of the past with the present.

Fado at night: an urban popular song of Lisbon

What could be better than ending the full of events day with traditional Portuguese food and fado music! The partners went to “Restaurante Adega do Ribatejo” (Rua Diario de Noticias 23, Lisbon 1200 - 141, Portugal). There they had an oportunity to get to know impromptu Fado style and to listen to life fado music in a traditional rustic fado singing place – a tavern with local people and traditional Portuguese snacks. Here you had not “just singers”, they themselves were serving tables and taking food orders, even the cook came out from the kitchen to sing in her food spotted apron. It was a good example that maintaining the culture and traditions does not need professionals, just a strong passion for your roots.

Lisbon festivities: ready, set, go!

Thursday, June 12, 2014, was the day for lessons, presentations and photography workshop. It was held in Espaço Europa, European Commission’s Representation in Portugal (Largo Jean Monnet, 1-10º, 1269-068 Lisboa; Jonas Danielevicius, the professional photographer from Lithuania led photography seminar "Street photography - how to tell the story". Later the participants had to prepare and present their presentations about traditional festivities and festivals in their countries of residence: Lithuania, The Netherlands, Iceland, Germany.

The Portuguese language lesson helped the participants to learn main expressions in Portuguese and pronunciation tips were also given. The day ended in Lisbon city and St. António day’s city festivities and parade, where the participants had a chance to use the tips they got during the earlier photography seminar and take photos for the topic “People of St. António”.

The happy end with the nicest tiles and photos to enjoy and remember The Exhibition of participants’ workshops’ results was held: the azulejo painted tiles and photos with the theme “People of St. António” were exhibited, and the visitors could vote for the most original tile and photo. Then, the authors spoke about their photos exhibited and told the story behind each photo.

The election of the favorite tile and photo brought a big interest, as everybody was curious to know who the winner was. The photo, which received the most votes, was by Jonas Danielevicius from Lithuania. It shows a group of girls in festive mood taking a „selfie” and in a way ignoring a police car parked in front.

Two tiles got the same amount of votes and shared the first place. Mrs. Ruta Lange from Germany painted a town, and 3 years old Lukas Jankauskas from Portugal surely dazzled everybody by originality of what
could be a contemporary art piece – carved abstract lines on the surface of a blue painted tile.

After the exhibition the participants shared their reflections, discussed and evaluated the meeting and the whole project. The closing ceremony was held and the certificates given for the participants. The partners’ meeting in Lisbon “When tradition meets today” officially had ended. This last meeting also meant the last event of the whole project “Intercultural Integration: Arts, crafts and traditions”.

This was a great learning experience, thanks to Grundtvig, and hope to see you again in other interesting European projects!

Project 5th meeting’s organizer: Lithuanian Association in Portugal
Responsible: Ernesta Žukauskaite Monteiro
Project coordinator: Vilijampoles dailes centras | Lithuania
Project partners:
• Associação Lituana em Portugal / Portugal
• Stichting smARTroots | The Netherlands
• Europaisches Litauisches Kulturzentrum in Deutschland (ELKC) e.V. | Germany
• Félag Litháa í Reykjavík | Iceland

Short note in Lithuanian:


2014 m. birželio 8 - 13 dienomis Portugalija vyko baigiamasis, 5-asis Grundtvig mokymosi visą gyvenimą partnerysčių programos projekto “Intercultural Integration: arts, crafts and traditions” dalyvių susitikimas "When traditions meets...". Nyderlandų fondą “smARTroots” atstovavo du asmenys. Išsinuomuotu automobiliu ir fotoaparatu rankose lankėmės istoriniuose, Portugaliją garsinančiuose miestuose, tai - Fatima, Ericeira, Mafra, Setubal, Coina, Lisabona ir kt.

Edukacinėje programoje vyko meninės fotografijos seminaras, Azulėjo: keramikinių plytelių dekoravimo dirbtuvės, lankėmės Nacionaliniame Azulėjo muziejuje; susipažinome su Portugalijos tradicinės kultūros ištakomis, klausėmės gyvos Fado muzikos; susitikome su vietos tautodailininkais, amatininkais, nacionalinių tradicijų puoselėtojais bei vietos švenčių organizatoriais; mokėmės portugalų kalbos (pasikalbėjimų žodynėlis čia).

Dalyvavome garsiajame Šv. Antano festivalyje. Visi projekto dalyviai fiksavo gražiausias šventės akimirkas.

2014 m. birželio 13-ąją Setubal mieste vyko finalinis etapas - dalyvių fotografijų parodos "St. Antonio žmonės" aptarimas, paskelbti keramikinių plytelių laureatai (mažasis Lukas iš Portugalijos ir Rūta iš Vokietijos).

Susitikimą organizavo - Portugalijos lietuvių bendruomenės atstovai.
Projektą programą koordinavo Vilijampolės Dailės centras.  Plačiau...
Informacija vykstantiems į Portugaliją.

Photo gallery on social media: Facebook
Vocabulary of useful words in Portugal.

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