Artistic and Cultural Atlas of Portugal reveals existing equipment and “territorial asymmetries” (C/VIDEO)

The beginning of the program of the second RTCP Conference – Network of Portuguese Theaters and Cinemas, promoted by the Directorate-General for Arts and which took place on Monday, December 5th, in the municipality of Sardoal, was given with the presentation of the Artistic and Cultural Atlas de Portugal, the first created in our country, and which results from the “Study of the Artistic and Cultural Sector in Portugal”, under an institutional partnership agreement between the Directorate-General for Arts (DGARTES) and Iscte-Instituto Universitário de Lisbon, through the Portuguese Observatory of Cultural Activities.

Regarding the contributions of the Artistic and Cultural Atlas of Portugal, the Minister of Culture, present in Sardoal, is expectant. “This knowledge here in particular of the territorial dimension of policies, even in a small country like ours, is something that is lacking… This finer perception of the territory, of the asymmetries, must inform public policies, because it corresponds to a concern that I conveyed here, the democratization of access to culture”.

VIDEO/PRESENTATION ATLAS ARTISTIC AND CULTURAL:

The results of the study were presented by José Soares Neves, from the OPAC – Observatório Português das Mulheres Culturais, who noted that the Artistic and Cultural Atlas of Portugal has as its main objective the characterization of existing cultural facilities and artistic structures and entities in activity.

According to the director of the Observatory, the Atlas corresponds to “a pioneering study to support cultural public policies, with a holistic perspective of mapping a wide range of domains, dimensions and cultural components”.

The conclusions presented allow us to point out a “panorama with inequalities, but with a wide dissemination of equipment, entities and activities, even taking into account only the performing arts, all of this becomes complex and diversifies in the territory, if we look at all other domains”, summarized José Soares Neves.

José Soares Neves is the director of the Portuguese Observatory of Cultural Activities. Photo: mediotejo.net

Some challenges have arisen along the mapping path, which the researcher refers to as being important “to develop and standardize these sources according to the proposed model, from the conceptual point of view, their validity and the reliability of the information. There is no perfect data, we know that perfectly, the big question is the work we have with them”.

“It is important to improve and develop the articulation between INE, from the point of view of official cultural statistics, which are those that, for better or for worse, represent us abroad, in addition to being a fundamental basis for all of us to National level. Afterwards, INE articulated with the MC bodies, producers and users of statistical information and with the statistical services of the Autonomous Regions”, he adds.

The conclusions presented in the morning session allow us to point out a “panorama with inequalities, but with a wide dissemination of equipment, entities and activities, even taking into account only the performing arts, all of this becomes more complex and diversified in the territory, if we look at all the other domains”, summarized José Soares Neves.

The conclusion of the Artistic and Cultural Atlas of Portugal “relativizes the traditional territorial asymmetries of the country, less culturally unbalanced than the indicators and indices of artistic culture density, which we are using within the scope of this Atlas”, concluded the OPAC director.

The event was attended by Pedro Adão e Silva, Minister of Culture, who in statements to mediotejo.net highlighted the importance of public policy debate.

“The qualification of the public debate around policies is a fundamental requirement for us to have better public policies. We work with rigorous information, which portrays, makes a kind of cartography of the sector… And that’s why I also wanted to do this unusual exercise today, to give all the information about the tenders, because I think that qualifies the debate”.

For Adão e Silva, it is possible “to have different opinions on a given matter, but opinions should be based on accurate information and not on the absence of information or the absence of facts”.

He added that “there is a great responsibility of the State, the Administration, the Government, to provide information. Much of the information is held by the State and, therefore, it is an act of democracy and transparency to transmit this information”.

In this way, the official hopes that the “return of this information will be a more qualified debate on the options that are taken, which are always susceptible to generate divergence”.

Pedro Adão e Silva, Minister of Culture, attended the second Conference of the Portuguese Theaters and Cinemas Network. Photo: mediotejo.net

Regarding the contributions of the Artistic and Cultural Atlas of Portugal, the Minister of Culture is expectant. “This knowledge here in particular of the territorial dimension of policies, even in a small country like ours, is something that is lacking… This finer perception of the territory, of the asymmetries, must inform public policies, because it corresponds to a concern that I conveyed here, the democratization of access to culture”.

Adão e Silva added that “democratization often only involves obstacles that have a socio-economic dimension (…), but unfortunately in Portugal, socio-economic obstacles combine with territorial obstacles, the absence of a cultural offer in the territory. And that’s why network programming (…) is so important to counteract the asymmetries we saw here at Atlas today,” he concluded.

The debate at what was the second Conference of the Network of Portuguese Theaters and Cinemas was also enriched with the contribution of experts from various areas who, divided into 3 panels, addressed topics such as programming in the territory, cultural sustainability and participatory communities.

The 2nd Conference of the Portuguese Theaters and Film Theaters Network took place at the Gil Vicente Cultural Centre, in Sardoal (Santarém). Photo: mediotejo.net

RTCP has already accredited 84 cultural facilities distributed throughout the national territory, which joined voluntarily and under the commitment to cooperate with each other, promoting the right to fruition and qualified cultural creation of the entire population, as well as the circulation of artistic creation and co-productions between entities.

In 2022, 38 projects were supported in the programming support competition. This type of support has biennial opening cycles, so a new call for tenders is scheduled for 2023. Support for RTCP programming, along with the consolidation of accredited equipment, is of strategic importance in terms of the State’s investment in artistic sector with an evident repercussion in the democratization of access to the arts.

The Conference was transmitted in streaming on the Facebook pages of DGARTES and Centro Cultural Gil Vicente, and can be reviewed HERE.

The article is in Portuguese

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