Social inclusion, Community development

Mudéjar in Dialogue

Using heritage to bridge gaps - social inclusion and rural development


Who is behind this?

Jorge Vidal Campuzano

Viaje a la Sostenibilidad


Who is joining forces?

Recreando Estudio Creativo S.COOP.


Asociacion Jerusalem Palestino-Aragonesa known as Casa Palestina


All three organizations have collaborated on the project design and will continue to work on the implementation and evaluation of the project with clear task division and a horizontal layout.


Idea pitch

Our project aims to open dialogue between 2 polarized groups living in rural areas around Zaragoza, the autochthonous people and migrants with Islamic background. We plan to organize activities such as getting to know the local heritage, open dialogue sessions, upcycling furniture workshops inspired by Mudejar art for public spaces, and development of a Toolbox to be used in the future. We foster a community-based approach and methodology in order to encourage active participation and inclusion.

Where will your project idea take place?

In the province of Zaragoza, Spain, in six villages with less than 8000 inhabitants.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Zaragoza province is a depopulated region with low birth rates and aging population. In the last seven years, the community lost up to 2.8% of its population, according to official figures. Experts point out that since 2015 population growth has only been sustained by the arrival of foreigners. The profile of the immigrants who decide to settle down in the province is diverse and their ability to integrate varies based on many factors and circumstances. In Zaragoza city there are several initiatives which provide a ¨welcome package¨ that mostly focuses on their basic needs in the initial stages of their arrival. We recognize that integration is a long-term process that requires time and that cultural understanding is what helps us retain our cultural identity while respecting others.

Who are you doing it for?

This project aims to create a community involving:
1- Migrants and refugees of Muslim origin
2- Local population, adults and children
The inhabitants of Muslim origin face a great cultural shock when they arrive in Spain and more so in rural areas; Different language, different religion, coming from non-EU countries and many of them from countries with different political regimes or in conflict situations.
Culture unites, and the great legacy of Mudejar art that exists in Spain can be used to create a link between groups of communities that live in the same small areas and do not normally tend to share spaces or interests. In each of the 6 towns 4 workshops will be held with a capacity of 20 people per activity.

How do you plan to get there?

0 Meetings with entities to consolidate the working groups and future steps
1 Guided visits to observe and learn about shared cultural heritage
2 Participatory sessions to discuss and share traditions, culture, knowledge
3 Practical collaborative workshops for the construction and creative restoration of furniture for a common space in the town. The aim is for participants to create a shared meeting place
4 Creation of a toolbox by the organization in which the methodology used in this project will be explained in detail using various gadgets. They will be given to each of the participating City Councils and will be posted as open source on the Internet for downloading and public use
5 Production of visual material (photo, video, documents, posters, etc.)
6 Evaluation of the project

What are the expected results?

- Increase in empathy and understanding between the polarized groups of a local community in every village.
- Generate a social impact in the community through the creation of relationships between neighbors of different cultures, religions, ideologies and ages.
- Reduction of stereotypes and prejudice in terms of culture and customs.
- Opening new channels of communication.
- Giving visibility to the issues faced by migrant groups.
- Permanent intervention in public spaces using community-developed upcycled furniture which act as links between people and preserve the memory of the project.
- Development of tools and intellectual outcomes (digital and printed) to be used by social agents to replicate the methodology which will contribute to the continuity of the proposal.

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

Having worked with different migrant groups, we have recognized that they are not all treated equally and that in some cases the cultural barriers are more difficult to overcome, especially in rural areas where there are very few integration programs available. By emphasising shared heritage and development of dialogue between immigrants, the City Council and locals we intend to work towards inclusion of the marginalized groups. The next step, workshops on upcycling, have the aim of developing a shared project, to strengthen the community and feeling of belonging. Through inclusion, we want to foster equal rights and social links between the polarized groups which lead to the strengthening of democracy on a local level.

Why is this idea important to you?

Each participating organization works towards a more ethical, responsible, social and ecological society. Community work and citizen participation are our lines of work and we use them as tools to generate critical thinking as well as transforming ideas.

The mission is to generate resources to facilitate the integration of all people in a society, which, as happens in small rural territories, is more costly due to the lack of institutional support.

We have proven that our methodology gives positive results in the community and our intention is to carry it out in a wider social and community scheme where we can obtain results that help us to contrast and improve the techniques used.

€ 50000,-

Total budget

€ 45000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Project management and coordination 13000
Research and methodology improvement 7000
Materials, production of the toolboxes 9000
Workshops 12000
Transportation 2000
Translation of materials and documentation 2000
Communication and dissemination 3000
Minor expenses 2000

The local City Councils will contribute with a total of 5000 € with the idea to engage them further in the project realization.

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to receive advice on whether there are similar projects that have been carried out in Europe or elsewhere as well as how we could improve the project concept based on similar ideas.





Idea created on May 20, 2020
Last edit on May 22, 2020

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