Título: PAPER TRAILS: Post-industrial histories, technical memories and art practices in Tomar
Acrónimo: PAPER TRAILS
Techn&Art área preferencial: Desenvolvimento sustentável e valorização do património cultural
Financiamento: 14 600,00 €
Âmbito: Nacional e Internacional
The project proposal aims at organizing a joint Symposium by TECHN&ART and by the École de design et Haute école d’art du Valais (EDHEA SWITZERLAND) focusing on post-industrial sites in a transdisciplinary environment. Given Tomar’s industrial past and EDHEA’s experience with the project Art Work(ers), which examines possible exchanges between industrial economy, heritage(s) and certain artistic practices will be jointly and further explored. In a time of lockdown, intense loss and hasty adjustment to novel conditions, our project’s scope takes another dimension. One in which we aim at ethically engage and modestly contribute to building tools to analyze the recent past as a way to start rethinking the future and mitigate the effects of change.
While Tomar was once one of Portugal’s most prominent industrial nodes, the vast majority of its industrial and pre-industrial units are now either ruins of a recent productive past or under eminent threat of closing as the municipality’s industrial zenith is long gone.
An example of that is the municipality’s iconic paper producing compound, which is made up of the following three industrial units: Companhia de Papel do Prado, Fábrica de Papel de Porto Cavaleiros and Fábrica de Papel da Matrena. Despite, and somehow because of, their current material decay, the buildings are considered as heritage and cultural assets made up of noteworthy local identity features as they have overtly contributed to Tomar’s former prestige position while feeding a certain nostalgic sense of community.
Conscious of the important role the paper industry played in the region and wishing to establish a dialogue with EDHEA’s work on artistic production in active factories and post-industrial settings (including Swiss reconversions of industrial architectures into cultural activities and Olivetti’s Typing machine factories cultural/industrial production processes in Ivrea - Italy), the event will be centered on the paper industry, in both its industrial and cultural facets.
Thus, the main goals of this project are:
- to provide an overview of Tomar’s industrial heritage state so that all involved, be they Portuguese or Swiss, academics, artists, local government representatives, local communities or general public, get acquainted with the broad picture and can contribute to its understanding and analysis;
- to assess the impact and viability of adopting a strategy of artistic reconversion of former industrial sites (both in terms of heritage and practices) in a comparative fashion, both in transdisciplinary and geographical terms;
- to collect official and informal histories from institutional, political and personal archives as well as former blue- and white-collar workers’ histories and collective memories of the factories. The foci of this (re)collection will be on the architectures, the social relations that are sustained and generated by and around the industrial activities, the environments and the territories that form the aforementioned compound. This will be done by means of a documentary film (yet to be produced and directed);
- to produce a joint response/contribution to the research project. In order to do so, EDHEA will work on a new documentary from the Art Work(ers) archive materials and enrich the script/work in dialogue with Tomar (learning from Tomar, its histories and its methods). This way the two realities depicted will also establish a rapport amongst each other;
- to bridge the gap between the city’s past and the present by resorting to a Creative Conservation approach as a way to start speculating into the future in shared expertise with EDHEA;
- to explore the chosen topic by resorting to a combination of perspectives usually considered to be incompatible, such as the technical/industrial and artistic);
- to tighten connections with national and international expert networks;
- to contribute to “landscape management in the context of sustainability” and “to foster positive change”, as established by IPT’s UNESCO Chair for the Humanities and Cultural Integrated Landscape Management; and following the same logic
- to comply with the goal - Sustainable Cities and Communities -- of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; and
- to develop an experimental joint and semester-long online course, so as to explore the possibility of a trans-institutional teaching experience.
Regarding TECHN&ART’s main areas, this project falls mostly under Promotion and Enhancement of Artistic and Cultural Heritage. Yet, it also rubs shoulders with Creative Conservation.
In terms of societal results, we expect to raise awareness to the empowering potential of industrial heritage by displaying similar situations in which obsolete infrastructures were reconverted and given a new life. Also, we intend to use cinema to instill pride into former industrial workers by giving them the lead role.
Hermínia Sol. Ciência-ID: 941B-7834-5C49
Equipa de Investigadores:
Renata Faria Barbosa. Ciência-ID: DB16-712F-1549
João Luz. Ciência-ID: 9713-6B91-43CF
Ricardo Triães. Ciência-ID: 7319-012F-71D4
Inês Serrano. Ciência-ID: AF18-16E0-B0DC
Fernando Costa. Ciência-ID: FC1F-75AA-6629
Instituto Politécnico de Tomar
EDHEA - Ecole de design et haute école d’art du Valais – partnership in creating an online course on industrial histories and art practices (for a limited number of IPT and EDHEA students), and co-organizers of the Symposium as well as the resulting publication (Ge-Conservación special issue);
CS - Cinema Society of Tomar (Cineclube de Tomar) – Co-organizer in the screening of the documentaries (cinema session);
GE - Ge-Conservación Grupo Español de Conservación, International Institute for Conservation of historical and artistic works Journal
(indexed) - support in the production of a Special issue regarding the theme of the Symposium;
IPT’s UNESCO Chair Humanities and Cultural Integrated Landscape Management.
Data de início: 01/06/2021
Data de Conclusão: 01/07/2022