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How to Shift Boundaries 

For Mark Deputter, Director of Culturgest, the Good Practices Factory were not only presented as an activity, but as a leading question: “The Good Practices Factory. Can it achieve a shift?”

In this perspective, Culturgest (CG) has decided to open its stages to multiple voices and places of belonging. The work with afro-descendent and black communities was already present in its artistic and discursive program, so Common Stories was a great opportunity to reexamine these practices and further develop the relationship with these communities. In this context, a collaboration has been initiated with the recently created organization UNA, the União Negra das Artes (Black Union of Arts).

An alliance has been set up between the Good Practices Factory of Common Stories and UNA’s project of producing an anti-racist manual for the fields of art and art education. The name “manual” is the result of a process of accumulation and dissemination of experiences, proposals, thought experiences, and, yes, Good Practices.

In practice, Culturgest presented a day of encounters and talks to instigate action and reflection on the stories and experiences of this community in their relationship with performing art institutions. This public event intitled Reframing authority and authorship in the arts: weaving lines of reparation has been curated by Raquel Lima and co-organized with UNA, in the context of the Good Practices Factory annual meeting that took place   in Lisbon on November 20th, 2023.

The morning was dedicated to a Theoretical and Practical Workshop, Anti-Racist Lines for Art/Education, attended by professionals from different Portuguese performing art institutions as well as universities. In the afternoon three public talks or round tables were open to the public: Fanon Pharmacy – Grammars of the Blue by Vânia Gala; a round table From the Authority of Inertia to the Radicality of the Repairable with Anabela Rodrigues, Apolo de Carvalho, Cristina Roldão, Gessica Correia Borges and Kitty Furtado; and a talk by Jota Mombaça.

What’s next?

In November 2024, one year after the first November 2023 workshop and jointly with UNA, a second workshop will be held. Care Pathways in Performing Arts Practice in Portugal will engage performing arts professionals and institutions in the co-construction of a good practice/antiracist manual and will seek to design itineraries of care in performing arts practice. The goal is to question ways to cultivate affection and care in collective creative processes, while thinking about future possibilities in a context where the arts play an increasingly necessary role for a transformative imagination.