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Favela Revela Project trains cultural agents in Salvador’s Subúrbio Ferroviário district

 

The richness and cultural vitality of Salvador’s Subúrbio Ferroviário district encouraged the Aldeia Tubarão Quilombo (Quilombo Aldeia Tubarão: QUIAL) to develop a training initiative for young people in the territory, focused on sustainability, art and culture.  This was how the project “Favela Revela: Workshop Cycle for Cultural Agents” was born, aimed at promoting the intellectual and professional development of young people from the district using methodologies and resources based on the territory’s socio-economic context and cultural values.  The initiative took place in April and May 2022 and received support from CESE’s Small Projects Programme.

The project sought to provide financial autonomy in order for the young participants to make full use of the workshop cycle, which addressed themes such as Art and Culture, Heritage, Territories and Identities, Culture and Sustainability, Administration and Financial Education, Creative Processes, Drafting Projects, Digital Images, Cultural Production, Audio-visual Production and Event Production.  The training was aimed at young people aged 18-29, resident in Salvador’s Subúrbio Ferroviário district and working in cultural collectives within the territory.

Through a total of 12 workshops, the Favela Revela activities included sharing instruments with the young people to support learning within their cultural groups and collectives, and stimulate work within the cultural market.  The workshops also included content to empower these young local agents to work on cultural productions in Subúrbio Ferroviário, to stimulate the cultural economy in the Subúrbio Ferroviário region and towards the inclusion of the young trainees in the city’s creative circuits.

Training to do – According to one of the initiative’s designers and its Project Coordinator, multi-artist, manager and educator Natureza França, Favela Revela is a multimedia platform and an arena to stimulate financial autonomy.  “Because once you promote artists, singers, poets, producers and audio-visual producers, as well as other categories and languages, you are showing people that this work exists and that it can be taken anywhere.  We also do this based on training.”

To further leverage this process, the project included opportunities to add value to the young people’s productions, with an internal award for highlighted projects and a brief demonstration of their art. “The idea is also to run events in which, as well as participating, the young people can show their work, and receive the financial resources to do so,” she added.

In her words, the Favela Revela mediates for these young people via recommendations to partners, and supports those who are most dedicated and committed to the project so they can gain more professional experience.  “We try to include the young people in the cultural market, through the circuits we are involved in, encouraging them to circulate,” Natureza explained. Another way of contributing is to publicise the young volunteers’ work on Instagram posts, including them in the credits and tagging all the team members. “We invite the young people who have participated in our workshop cycle to work in projects with us, training, recognizing their work, and including them in the works we produce.  In this way, we are promoting everyone’s work in all possible ways,” she said.

Nine young people from Subúrbio Ferroviário have participated in the workshop cycle to train cultural agents, and have now entered the phase in which they will work on a Favela Revela production, which is committed to valuing their territory and supporting its sustainability. This group has already gone through an experience with artistic languages and has gained more tools to drive their own productions, in addition to finding out more about the history of the territory and expanding their professional horizons.  The workshops not only train Cultural Agents, but also encourage recognition of the territory, of its memory, its culture and their own identities. “We understand these young people to be Subúrbio Ferroviário cultural agents, who should work in the area, train technically and develop.  It is also the young cultural agent’s role to work to develop their territory, to value it and promote work within its networks, for their own sustainability and for that of the space,” she added.

Horizontality – According to Natureza, the partnership with CESE allowed the project to take place. “Without this support, it wouldn’t have happened. In the first edition, the workshops took place online and I gave most of the classes, because we didn’t have the funds to pay the team.  This time, the partnership with CESE enabled us to do everything in-person, providing the necessary conditions.” The second edition of Favela Revela provided a grant for participant transport and snacks, providing the necessary conditions for them to attend the course.

“CESE’s support allowed us to access funds and distribute them lovingly, carefully, the way we believe our community, our territory, deserves,” Natureza said.  As a manager, she prioritizes establishing a team of professionals with a history of commitment to the Subúrbio Ferroviário territory: the artist, producer and presenter Fabrício Cumming; the founder and manager of the Acervo da Laje Museum House & School (Museu Casa Escola Acervo da Laje), Professor José Eduardo Santos; as well as workshop instructors Karine Wakanda, Udi Santos and Carolina Barreto; the artist Pólen Acácio; and the poets Cláudio Aguiar and Marina Brag.  The Favela Revela took on two young people who participated in the previous edition of the project; today they are workshop instructors in the new group, there are also volunteers who work directly in the workshops while extending their own learning.

For Natureza, the care they take represents an example for the young people in how important it is to give back to the community: “We practice what we teach them. It’s no good telling them how to do something, if you don’t do it yourself. We show them that we can, yes, be sustainable and have financial sustainability within our territory.  We can do this by not only thinking of ourselves – because when we only think of ourselves, we enter a logic that doesn’t belong to us.  We’re reproducing the logic of the oppressor, the dominator.  Our dynamic is distribution,” she explained.

Natureza concluded by reminding us of the potential of territories such as Tubarão and its vibrant young people: “The Favela Revela is a network of affection and work created by people and initiatives that daily reveal a Subúrbio full of potential, which only needs opportunities to demonstrate how to truly perform art, in a context of adversity, living and creating based on the pain and beauty of reality on this side.”

Imagmático: O Filme (Imagmático: The Film) – The Favela Revela aims to continue its commitment to generate a movement, to make ideas, training and funding circulate, to promote the horizontality of the quilombo and the logic of the Tubarão community itself, where the activities took place. After the training came to an end, the group began to develop a film with the Tubarão QUIAL team. Imagmático: O Filme ended the training cycle and was launched on 11 June, at the organization’s offices.

The film is a collective production from young cultural agents from Salvador’s Subúrbio Ferroviário district, produced via the project. The work provides a series of reflections on stories, memories and the “strivings” of young people in peripheral neighbourhoods, revealing the beauty, struggle, force and desire of conscious young people within powerful territories.  The idea is for the film to be exhibited in other art and culture arenas in Subúrbio Ferroviário and the city of Salvador.