European Network of Cultural Centres (ENCC)

Mapping New Ruralities: Merging Stories from Crato

Waking Life

The project aims to open up spaces of interaction between Waking Life Festival's goers and local communities, as a tool to make local struggles visible and encourage actions of resistance, as well as starting new relevant alliances between Crato’s current cultural agents. Through the facilitation of participatory workshops that will take place both in town and at the festival, the project will allow us to create a multidimensional map that will later be made accessible to local and online audiences.

The project aims to explore the impact of Waking Life Festival on Crato’s cultural and social dynamics, juxtaposing emotional, geographical and historical maps that will emerge from individual and collective stories provided by local communities, linking them to festival-goers' experiences. In this framework, Crato might serve as a case study to explore topics that are common to Southern Europe rural areas, involving rural exodus and landscape transformation, as well as the implementation of innovative creative communities in these areas - such as Waking Life. Ethnographic fieldwork will gather stories and materials, followed by a workshop where locals map meaningful places and events, integrating personal items like photos, letters and oral history recordings.This approach aims to ensure the stories and lives of Crato's people are acknowledged, and, so doing, replacing “local and outsiders” dichotomy with a more inclusive and multiple narrative. The material gathered during the workshop will be displayed at the festival through the creation of an interactive installation to foster direct interaction between locals and festival goers. Adopting a “Pen Pal” format, local stories will be shared as letters to which festival-goers can reply. Also, we will lead a guided tour of the festival for locals, with a series of pit stops that will serve to enhance direct communication with the festival's community.

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