20 abril 2020

O testemunho da Camilla No. 2 (Crescer na Maior)


The past year is gone and we have already been getting into the new year of 2020. I look at the past year at Espaço Âncora with lot of gratitude and warmth. I felt warmly welcomed not just from the colleagues but also overall from the beneficiaries side. Our Christmas celebration was especially one of the last years highlights.
The month of January was a time of getting more familiar with the people that come to Espaço. I did share many interesting conversations especially with the people that more frequently visits the place. The hardships of living on the streets, finding a decent work and an apartment where common topics not just at Espaço but also in the portugues media during the beginning of the year. 
During the month of February, we did start on the request of the beneficiaries the weekly meetings. These meetings have many functions. One of them is to pass information from Espaços side but also more importantly to function as a platform for the beneficiaries to discuss for them important topics, share information and life events. Quite often did I find myself also in the middle of a discussion on politics. I have to say that these meetings where never boring in any way.
We did also start together during the time of February with the beneficiaries the planning of short- and long-term activities at Espaço. 

Planning of activities at Espaço

February was also an interesting month in other ways. We did have loads of visitors from abroad wanting to get more familiar with the goals, methods and overall philosophy of Espaço Âncora. Activism and art-based practices stood up as the central pillars of the work at Espaço in these encounters.
One of our more furry visitor was this lovely Mr. doggy that once in a while together with his owner did step bay. 


Mr. doggy paying us a visit.
February was of course nothing without the yearly celebration of Carnival. We did throw a party as the beneficiaries planned it. There was some sweets, arts and crafts and a good feeling in the air on The day.   


Artist in work during Carnival.

Quite soon after the Carnival fever did cool down did we enter in to another unknown time – the pandemic. The doors of Espaço Âncora have been closed for a time while I am writing this testimony. Me as other volunteers are at the moment at home trying in this way contribute to the work of other professionals that are combating covid-19 in the frontlines. Lisbon has during this time shown itself from a distance – a distance that is for many as myself a privilege that many people cannot afford to take.  


Lisbon from a distance. 

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