In November 20, 2019, at the José Araújo Auditorium of Lusófona University, the Seminar “The Professionalization of People with Disabilities through Art and Culture” was held, under the coordination of the Masters Fernando Catarino and Paulo Ferreira, integrated in the development. Erasmus + CLAP HANDS Project.
After the opening session by the Assistant Administrator of the Lusophone University – Professor Doctor Manuel José Damásio, Dr. Luís Oliveira, PhD student at the Lusófona University, gave us a beautiful song and guitar accompaniment. In between the moments of communication, our musician and artist gave us two more songs, different in style and form, for themselves being an example of the richness that diversity brings us.
The viewing of the documentary “What counts is the talent”, by Fernando Catarino and Paulo Ferreira, transported us to the world of Art and Culture, starring people with disabilities and their workshops, where everything happens and where the works of art of these artists come from. Also an exhibition in the lobby by the artists of Fundação LIGA, directed by Dr. Cristina Passos, invited us to enter the world so ignored and sometimes overlooked the potential of these small / large artists.
In a lively conversation with the Project coordinators and the public, Dr. Mário Carneiro, Director General of the GDA Foundation – Artists ‘Rights Management – informed in detail the contributions of the Foundation he directs to guaranteeing Artists’ rights, with or without disabilities.
Dr. Isabel Sanches “Flying over the process of inclusion and professionalization”, in a lively and musical way, sought to demystify the concept of Inclusion and under the motto “nothing about us without us”, focused on Professionalization as a Right for All. Dr. Luís Oliveira illustrated this moment with a testimony of his life trajectory, alive and meaningful, as a blind person, highlighting how music, dance and theater opened his personal and professional perspectives and always created opportunities, which he knew. grab, for one more adventure.
Dr. Hélia Bracons moderated a roundtable discussion on good practices in the professionalization and inclusion of people with disabilities in which the Liga Foundation participated – Dr. Cristina Passos; the AFID Foundation – Dr. Álvaro Rebelo; and the National Institute for Rehabilitation (INR) – Dr. Adalberto Fernandes.
It was a rich morning of knowledge and experience for all present, especially the students of the Degree in Educational Sciences – Social Education, under the coordination of Doctor Maria das Neves Gonçalves, and the Degree in Social Work, under the coordination of Doctor Helia Bracons.
A total number of 41 guests attended the event. Among the guests were representatives from cultural, educational and municipal institutions and associations. Speakers at the event were Ali Rashidi, Head of Department for International Cooperation; Patrik Hedlund, Vice Chairman of the Cultural Committee in Uppsala; Pantea Saramolki, project leader, presenting the CLAP Hands project. Uppsala Municipality’s unit for Creation and Creativity – Konstform and Teater Blanca, held a runway show with clothes made from recycled paper, and had an exhibition with selection of their artworks from previous exhibitions.
Thereafter it was time for presentations of best practices regarding inclusion of persons with disabilities in culture: Susanna Cederquist, project leader for project VIDD; Participants from Teater Blanca and Konstform, Uppsala Municipality’s unit for Creativity and Creation; and Pantea Saramolki presented the international organization ShareMusic & Arts which works for an equal stage.
The presentations and speeches resulted in further discussions on initiatives to take a closer look at accessibility and collaborations between the organizations, which will be brought up at the next meeting of the Cultural Committee.