Arts and cultural activities, Community development


Alternative paths for community development


Who is behind this?

Sandra Serra

Baal17 - Theater Company


Who is joining forces?

Municipality of Serpa



Idea pitch

In a divided dehumanized world lead by lack of empathy and civic participation, RUPTURES unite communities towards one question: who are we and what can we share with each other’s? Inspired on participatory and collaborative models, applied to a community theater process, aiming alternative and critical thinking to create active citizenship. Ruptures reveals the natural need of human beings to create new rituals, breaking the normal present and find new answers for a common and better future.

Where will your project idea take place?

Serpa, rural town in Baixo Alentejo, Portugal.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Serpa is an aged and low populated territory. Young people go away to study in big cities and never come back. Those who remain have a low level of education and lack of qualifications.
Migrant population working in agriculture has increased, as well as the mistrust of the local population.
Collective spaces / times that promote reflection, empathy, and transformation are scarce or null. The feeling that “there’s nothing i can do!” or “that’s not for me to worry about!” is installed.
Therefore this project aims to engage the community in the process of actively contributes in the struggle for a better, fairest society. By reassuring that individual efforts and contributions can be effective, particularly when they are in embedded a larger, collective and diverse movement.

Who are you doing it for?

In 2018, Baal17 developed a large community theater project, involving 100 people from the community, around the text "Camino Real", by Tennessee Williams. “Ruptures” follows this very successful first project and aims to be a more immersive and more experienced approach in the context of working with communities.
At the moment, a community theater workshop is being held with about 30 people who will be the main nucleus of the project. In this workshop we work much more than theater, in the strict sense. Without hierarchical positions, we question ourselves, debate ideas, work on awareness, participation, training and empowerment necessary to release the 'wrapped' potentials in individuals and communities.

How do you plan to get there?

Implementation of 8 month plan:
Nov. – beginning of the script writing process for the show with the community's core group by collective creation devising model. This “first product” will have a public presentation as a way to captivate more participants.
Dec./Jan. – Involving others (sports, music, coral singing, students and elderly associations, Center for the Integration of Migrants) in Ruptures process. Creation of a professional multitask team to work with the groups.
Jan/May – All together now. About 100 people will work on a multidisciplinary show (created and presented by them) for 4 presentations in a wide open space, for about 2000 spectators.
June – presentation of the documentary about the process of the construction. Dissemination of Impact analysis results.

What are the expected results?

In the end we hope to transform people and the community sustained in processes of personal empowerment; group empowerment - promoting the feeling of belonging, solidarity and reciprocity practices; and structural empowerment - favors and enables engagement, co-responsibility and social participation from the perspective of citizenship.
For the analysis of the social impacts of projects/ experiments the appropriate methodological frameworks are grounded on the collection of opinions and representations shared by those who participate in the project and by the stakeholders of it. Focusing primarily on the perception of direct short-term effects, the impact analysis makes it possible to characterize the dynamics generated in the community as a result of developed project.

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

The development of different theatrical approaches has undergone a profound development in the last decades, bearing in mind two basic assumptions: The perspective of building knowledge and empowering individuals, groups and communities, as a way to access participatory citizenship.
This project is a privileged arena to reflect on identity issues, contributing to the deepening of the relationships between the different segments of the community, which can make explicit their similarities and differences. "Ruptures" will contribute to the expression of silent or silenced voices in an appeal to the participation and inclusion of all in the construction of a better future. For that we have democracy, but we need to exercise it better and encourage everyone to participate.

Why is this idea important to you?

When, 20 years ago, the Company settled in the small town of Serpa, it sowed a seed in a practically virgin land with regard to continued cultural and artistic (and also pedagogical) practices and intervention in the community. Today, the stage (which is much more than the theater board) is for Baal17 a place for reflection, provocation, critical analysis of who we are and what our role is in building a more just and balanced society. We strongly believe that “A community is like a ship – everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm

€ 80,-

Total budget

€ 40,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Project team costs– 35.000 EUR
External services and technical materials- 20.000 EUR
Logistics (food, travel and accommodation) 17.000 EUR
Office expenses - 1.000 EUR
Communication and dissemination – 7.000 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Every comments to improve are welcome!



Idea created on May 27, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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