Between 7th and 8th April 2022, the courtyard of Alto do Lumiar Primary School was filled with young pupils to witness and participate in the painting of a mural representing the different cultures present in the world. The mural was built due to the artistic work carried out by the school’s students and through recyclable materials, representing the theme of Interculturality.
The activities and workshops promoted and facilitated by AIDGLOBAL among the school’s students had an impact in increasing proximity among them and promoting a more significant motivation that makes them capable of working with and for the benefit of others. For the reasons mentioned above, these activities and workshops were pedagogical and motivational tools that promote culture, the debate of ideas, sharing and continuous learning, finding in urban art one of the means through which it was possible to promote arts education and social inclusion.
In the context of this activity, experimentation with different techniques was encouraged, which made up the construction of a mural that counted on the support of the plastic artist Rui Alexandre Ferreira, also known as “RAF”: the figure responsible for reproducing the mural the artistic works previously developed by the students of 9th A, B and C, and also 6th B and D, using recyclable materials and representing their origins and cultures. At the same time, some students were selected to be interviewed by AIDGLOBAL and filmed by Miguel Marques from MuseMotion.
What is your name? How old are you? In which country were you born? How long have you been in Portugal? What makes you feel at home? What does home mean to you? If a colleague arrives from another country, what will you do? How do you feel at your school? were some of the critical questions put to the young people of the Alto do Lumiar Primary School during the interviews in parallel with the painting of the mural. Simultaneously with this initiative, the facilitators also promoted activities to work on confidence, communication, respect for difference and inclusion.
The mural bears the mark of countries such as Syria, Brazil, Angola, São Tomé and Príncipe, Venezuela and Portugal, without forgetting the approach to the gipsy ethnic group and the expression of causes such as the one fighting for the rights of LGBTQIA+ people. There was also space for the presentation of tributes, alluding to music and environmental diversity. The youth identified with the artistic work developed by graffiti artist RAF and felt represented by the images illustrated on the mural.
This initiative aimed to value and stimulate the artistic side of children and young people, encouraging them to express their art and build their identity in permanent connection with their origins. It aimed to work on creativity and make children and young people aware of the importance of recycling and reusing materials, which can have various uses; and, finally, develop teamwork, organisation and mutual respect.
“NEAR – NEwly ARrived in a common home” is a European project funded by the European Commission, under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) with the ISMU Foundation as a promoter and as partner entities Tamat, CARDET, and AIDGLOBAL and the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. In Portugal, this project is being developed in the city of Lisbon, namely in the Bairro das Galinheiras, located in the parish of Santa Clara.
AIDGLOBAL ― Action and Integration for Global Development is a non-profit Non-Governmental Organization for Development (NGDO), which develops and promotes projects within the scope of Education for Development and Global Citizenship in Portugal and programs within the scope of Literacy in Mozambique. Its Mission aims to Act, Include and Develop through Education, because it believes that Change happens through Education.