29 abril 2020

O testemunho da Viviana No. 2 ( AAMA Associação Actividade Motora Adaptada)

Decidi de contar a minha experiência lisboeta em versos. “Chutar palavras” nao é o meu forte, mas Lisboa me inspirou, desde o primeiro instante,  a ir além da imagem que tenho de mim mesma. Até agora foi o maior aprendizagem que esta cidade e esta experiência me deixaram: qualquer pessoa quero ser, posso sê-la. Então este é o meu fado 
dedicado a Lisboa 😊

O meu fado 

Da minha janela
Cada vez ao pôr-do-sol
Eu me apaixono
As cores...laranja, violeta, vermelha e amarela
E cada vez
Eu me apaixono

Fecho os olhos,
E o peito se enche dos sons da cidade
Os cantos dos pássaros aí,
As músicas que vêm de longe lá,
O vento que mexe as árvores, 

O verão está chegando,

E cada vez
Eu me apaixono

A luz do dia
que aquece a minha pele
e deixa as minhas faces rosadas
Me deixa também uma imensa vontade de viver
E cada vez
Eu me apaixono

Metáfora de vida
com as tuas subidas e descidas,
com o Tejo sempre pronto
a confortar
e os miradouros
onde tudo para trás é possível deixar

Tu és amiga fiel e irmã adorada...Lisboa

E cada vez

Eu me apaixono.

20 abril 2020

O testemunho do Özcan No. 2 (SPEAK)

As humans we always tend to exaggerate our emotional relation to our past. Whether they are sweet memories or sour memories we always acknowledge them more intensely than they actually were. For a beautiful sunny sunday that we remember,the sky is usually bluer and a rainy sky could’ve been recalled as darker in our memoirs. Obviously, that’s one of the strongest traits of our kind that drives our creativity process. But if this is left unchecked and unrecognized it can drain our relation to our present which will naturally prevent us from noticing small important details as every moment is beautiful as it is.

Since my ESC has started, I’ve been putting myself into many challenging situations both in my project and social life to see what kind of reactions will spruce up inside of me. This method of trial and error works for me as long as the way I reflect on my actions allows me to implement new ways of dealing with black spots. 

Whatever you’re doing it’s of crucial importance that you shouldn’t have fear or self doubt but just try so that you can understand how your surroundings and of course your inner peace responds to it. You really don’t need to search for challenges since fate, whether it’s governed by randomness or a divine power, will throw you in them without asking your opinion. The best you can do is to accept the circumstances and create opportunities out of it both for yourself and for other people.

 My journey still goes on despite all the unexpected changes as fate likes it. I can tell this is becoming an interesting and a complete life changing experience as a whole. I’m looking for small details that can help me change my perspective and make the most of it so that I can contribute to my creative process. Happy to be here and witnessing.

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. 

O testemunho da Valentina No. 2 (Viver Telheiras)

During the month of February I kept a journal of everything I did. Consulting it before writing this second testimony, I realise I have been having a very active life here in Lisbon. It is very hard to believe that I'm getting close to the middle mark of my ESC journey. The beginning of this year has been, unsurprisingly, filled with yet more novelty and various challenges, and somewhere along the line I realised I feel at home here, in my not so new life. 

The environment and the issues I was facing made me develop new priorities about what's to come as well as new daily habits. I now cook in olive oil, willingly buy peanut butter and broccoli, have stopped enjoying abatanados (previously my regular coffee order in Romania) and have a delegated, favourite spot at the 

I continue to enjoy my work, and the diverse situations I find myself part of. Some of the tasks I am in charge of include posting on our instagram accounts (I definitely recommend following @vivertelheiras & @festivaldetelheiras to keeping up with our latest activities and ideas), working with children in vegetable gardens, helping out during quiz nights at the community centre, doing administrative work, participating in multiple working groups and organising various events (including recently a week dedicated to women's role in society, with performances, film screenings and discussions, organised in collaboration with other NGOs). We've also built shelves for our upcoming neighbourhood resource sharing centre and sawn pillowcases for the children's reading group in the residents' association.

Outside of my work, I participated in debates, group talks, civic manifestations and meetings with other NGOs. I also joined a roller derby team (surprisingly, it is something I enjoy and can become good at), went on hikes, visited galleries and museums, and traveled alone and with friends. While I wasn't able to continue doing this during the isolation period, I have been exploring other resources in order to add depth to my Portuguese culture and language knowledge: I have been watching historical fiction series, listened to podcasts about social memory and politics, read books written by Portuguese, Angolan and Mozambican authors and watched the ongoing debates in the Brazilian and Portuguese legislative bodies. 

The quarantine period took some adjusting to and some days are still challenging; however, it also allowed for time to reflect about the fortunate position we're in to have economic, housing and employment safety, observe the situation unfold from a warm place, and think about what a desirable new normal could look like. 

O testemunho da Lara No. 2 (Crescer a Cores)

Six months have passed since the beginning of this experience and many things have happened. Regarding my project, which consists of working with a Portuguese association that owns a kindergarten and also on projects which support the community of the neighborhood where it is located. I started to integrate more with the group of colleagues, who had already proved available and collaborative. A beautiful understanding was born with them, in which I feel free to express my thoughts and my doubts and that makes me feel part of a group. I feel more confident about my skills that i am acquiring here in this project, and this gives a lot of satisfaction.

 The relationship has changed, not only with colleagues but also with children, with whom we have learned to know each other, creating a relationship of trust fundamental in the relationship between adult and child in an educational environment. We have fun together playing and discovering the world. We started doing different activities, we went to the theater to see a show for children and we participated in the neighborhood carnival. The latter was a truly beautiful experience; we had fun together in a park dancing listening to music with other children. Thanks to my coordinator, my project also includes my participation in support activities for families, in a neighborhood very close to our school, making this experience less monotonous, making me know new realities and increasing my skills. I expanded my social network, I made friendships with fantastic people and I started traveling to Portugal, which left me speechless with its wonders. Today I write from my room because we are being quarantined due to the unexpected spread of the Coronavirus that is affecting many countries around the world right now. We have been in this state for over a month and certainly I did not expect to experience this in a country that was not mine. Despite the distance, despite the concern, almost all of us, volunteers, here in Lisbon, have decided to stay and continue this experience here, with the support of our association that helps us. We continue to carry out some activities that we can do from home and that continue to motivate us and, thanks to the support of volunteers and friends, we try to better enjoy this experience that is happening to us and for which we were completely unprepared, in the hope that everything can return to normal as soon as possible.

15 abril 2020

O testemunho da Elena No. 2 (Crescer a Cores)

Six months have passed since the beginning of this experience here in Lisbon. Nobody would have expected us to stop our activities and our daily lives because of a bad virus that forced the world to stop. Until the start of the lockdown, my spirit of adaptation within the kindergarten was giving results little by little, the language was beginning to be familiar and the relationship with workmates and children got closer and more confidential. One of the most beautiful moments was celebrating the Carnival, we dressed up colorfully, we had sung and danced taking advantage of the beautiful sun. The children weren’t the only ones having fun!

Moreover, we should have performed with the choir, made up by some children and neighborhood families in mid-March, but everything was postponed. It would had been a good integration idea to take part in sing rehearsals every Thursday.

The discovery had been compelling from the start, it had taken me to visit the Azores Islands, the Algarve and small towns in the North, as well as Lisbon itself. I have become a fan of museums on Sunday afternoons and visits outside the city.
In a short time all this has been transformed, leading to a new form of adaptation, the home isolation. It was not easy especially having my family in Italy, one of the most infected areas, but slowly I had adapting to a not only physical space but above all mental, that sees me closed inside a situation to manage and allowing me to have contacts only through the Wi-Fi connection. We don't know when it will be over. We just have to wait and hope, being aware that our approach to the World will be different. In this period of quarantine life has been reduced, a bit of workout in the living room, moments of sharing with other roommates such as films, lunches or dinners and reduced outings just to go shopping. Ideas for creating workshops and activities are not lacking, we started a photography course to deepen the skills thanks to the help of Angel, who with his computer skills, also decided to collaborate with me, Viviana and Lara to realize some video-works for the respective projects.

The days pass and we try to remain positive and optimistic, waiting for returning to our normal live, a thought goes every day to the kindergarten children hoping to see them again soon; summer is coming and we are looking forward to relive that Lisbon full of colors and lights.