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Fanzidades - Words Beyond Borders | Civic Europe
Arts and cultural activities, Community development

Fanzidades - Words Beyond Borders

Promoting autonomy, participatory communication and sense of community in a peripheral neighbourhood through the construction of a community media outlet.


Who is behind this?

Carla Batista




Idea pitch

This Community Media project aims to create a strong shared sense of identity among the ethnically diverse residents of a peripheral neighbourhood in Lisbon. Its methodology will hinge around participatory communication and horizontal collaboration. Along the way, we will seek to renforce the elements which unite the community without blurring cultural or social differences among neighbors. The project will be pivotal in forging a space where everyone's dreams may be expressed and realized.

Where will your project idea take place?

Bairro do Bom Pastor, Benfica, Periphery of Lisbon

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

COMMUNICATIVE BUBBLES: we want to break communication barriers, end prejudices, misperceptions, and awkward silences among the residents of our neighborhood.

MEDIA LITERACY: we seek to enhance participants' media literacy skills, fostering not only competencies, but also a critical democratic/civic, artistic and community use of media in a time in which civic participation is a combination of mediated and non-mediated interactions.

STIGMATIZATION OF THE PERIPHERY: to prove that there are people in the working-class districts that can learn, participate civically and be active subjects, rather than mere passive objects of media discourse.

Who are you doing it for?

We want to engage at least 100 neighbourhood residents, which include:
- 50 women
- 20 elderly women
- 10 young people
- 10 children
- 10 men

The target-population belongs to the middle-low class, mostly Portuguese White & Afro-descendants and Portuguese Gypsies. Some neighbours receive government benefits or rent reduction, while others are squatting their homes. We want to work with all of them alike, and involve people from all generations.

How do you plan to get there?

PARTICIPATIVE METHODOLOGIES: We part from the idea that it is the target group that is to design their social intervention, because it is more efficient from an operational point of view and because it is more socially just. We will use collaborative methodologies for all the phases of the project, as well as in decisions about the content itself (formats, editorial lines, etc.).

OPEN CALL: we will invite every neighbour to participate in the project, regardless of their age, opinion, culture or background.

HARMONIZATION AND TEAM-BUILDING: we will give priority to developing participants' acquaintance with each other, affective bonds, and safe and respectful communication through games and dynamics, in order to guarantee a truly collaborative execution of the project.

COMMUNITY MEETINGS: open to all and held in different points of the neighborhood, to discuss all the important aspects of the fanzine and work together on them.

TRAINING: through workshops, games and creative activities, to foster literacy and important reflections about communication and community.

PRODUCTION PHASE: design, writing, revision, release and distribution of the fanzines in a collaborative way among the participants.

COMMUNITY EVALUATION: The community will be part of the evaluation process.

What are the expected results?

CAPACITY TO CONNECT: more openness to listening to the other, a greater sense of security to express ideas, opinions, feelings, and a greater capacity to communicate with people who are not part of the neighborhood.

UNION AND SHARING: a common non-exclusive neighborhood identity for the residents; a new space for sharing, a greater density of affective networks among neighbours.

ENHANCED MEDIA LITERACY: greater knowledge and competencies to use the media, in a collective, critical and civic sense.

VALUATION OF DIFFERENCE: more knowledge of and respect for the cultural and ethnic diversity of the country and the neighborhood.

PRIDE: of the people who live in the neighborhood to see their own work published, to see themselves as active subjects creators of discourse.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

In today's times, exercising citizenship is a necessary combination of digital and non-digital interactions. Mastery of communication tools is key when everything depends on information flows. The Covid-19 pandemic has further highlighted our strong dependence on communication technologies to work and relate to each other. This initiative aims to strengthen people's communication and digital skills in order to empower them for civic intervention.

In addition, creating a community media means developing a critical eye for oneself, learning how to learn, becoming a subject of one's own media discourse. This reinforces autonomy in the creation of information and a greater awareness of local issues, which become defined by the community and not for it by external others.

Why is this idea important to you?

We are a cultural, artistic and educational association based in the Bom Pastor Neighborhood since it was built in 2001. We are the corollary of a puppet theater company that, through its tours knew Portugal from north to south, showing us other ways of being and living life. So our focus is on two fronts - cultural/artistic and social work, which we believe to be closely linked.

Since 2010 we have dedicated ourselves to community work, starting our journey in a project to support Gypsy children. From here we have carried out a large number of socio-cultural activities in the neighborhood for audiences of all ages. We participate in several citizenship networks, bridging the gap between residents and institutions. Now we want to give the residents the ability to build their own bridge.

€ 49220,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Internal staff costs 27000
External personnel costs 12500
Equipment 4800
Travel and meals 600
Information, publicity and dissemination 350
General operating expenses 1480
Other expenses 2490

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Discover similar projects to relate practicable ways of acting, discovering solutions anddifficulties so that we can overcome and not repeat the same 'mistakes'. We want to get opinions from people who have already gone through this experience and can advise us the way we could take.




Idea created on April 25, 2021
Last edit on April 26, 2021

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