Discovering two sides of Schengen EU border, The Archipelago project is a result of research on communities in Capeverde islands and Cova da Moura, a neighbourhood of predominantly capeverdian immigrants in Lisbon. Built on a hill in Amadora, periphery town of Lisbon suburban area, a net of colourful two floor houses that spreads irregularly reminds of a crowdy island in the middle of a city. It is not even a symbolism to say that Cova da Moura, as well as other immigrants neighbourhoods around the world is one more of Capeverdian islands. Although the younger generation have created its own, specific culture based on hip hop and rap, the community in Lisbon remains in a lively cultural and economic contact with their families in Capeverdes. The Archipelago project is an attempt to portrait this connection through photos, traditional crafts, murals, videos and sculptures, often with participation of both communities - the young generation, but also craftswomen and craftsmen - as for example 9 women ceramists from Trás di Munti, a village of Santiago island.
The project was realized with financial support of Ministery of Culture in Slovak Republic. The partners of the project are CAO, Centro de Artes e Oficios de Tras di Munti and Moinho da Juventude, associação cultural. The project was possible thanks to generous help of prof. Virgínia Frois, Godlieve Meersschaert and Pedro Conceição. The author would like to thank to all the participants - women of Trás di Munti and children and teenagers.

Cabo Verde

The work in primary school of Trás di Munti consists of two symbolic themes, relating to life in this village and Cape Verde in general. The first theme of the archipelago, was developed for my next project in Cova da Moura, the neighborhood of immigrants in Lisbon, which in structure and form is also called an island. It can be said that Cova is one more island of the Cape Verde archipelago. But it's families, people also symbolically live in a personal island, which works on its own, but is in a relationship with the rest of the world, with the other islands.
So my work is to study of these relationships with school children. Each child drew a picture of her/his own island. This imaginary island includes mountains, houses, sometimes family members, animals, etc. Then, through these images, we created a map of an archipelago of Trás di Munti, in a two-dimensional form, as a mural on the school wall.
Exploring the traditional techniques of the village pottery, a tri-dimensional form of the map was created. Several groups of children created their own island using local clay. At the end the parts were installed in the yard of CAO Arts Center, with paper boats to make connections between these personal lands. The final result is a motion animation of the movement and life on islands and between them.
The second theme is linked to the work of women in pottery. Almost all the work in the village is made with hands, often with a great physical effort. My intention is to pay homage to the hands of women through a mural on CAO, Centro de Artes e Oficios de Tras di Munti. On the painting, around a drawing of hands of Saturnina (one of the local ceramists), children made their own drawings / paintings of different elements that are being used, touched and made by these women.

Cova da Moura

Hands of Isabel, Cova da Moura, Lisbon, 2014 Realized with
participation of children from Cova da Moura neighbourhood 
The part of the project, realized in Lisbon neighborhood Cova da Moura was based on large scale murals and prints installed on wall. The themes of these paintings were based mostly on imagery of a daily life in Capeverdes. The aim was - especially for a younger generation, children of immigrants from Capeverdes - to keep a contact with the cultural and social reality in a country of their roots. In some of the paintings, children participated in a creation, adding their own images, based on experience, or imagination of the Cape Verde reality.
Hands of Sr. Martinho, Cova da Moura, Lisbon, 2014.
Sr. Martinho is an amateur artist from the neighbourhood. He is
the one, who build the first wooden boat used in the traditional
celebration Kola San Jon, the feast that became national heritage.
The project was possible thanks to the generous help of Moinho da Juventude, a cultural association of Cova da Moura.

3,5, Cova da Moura, Lisbon, 2014
The painting portrays members of Isabel's family, two women,
one teenage girl and one small girl, all living in a remote rural
area of Island of Santiago. All what they need for living they
plant, or bring to their house on their heads. 

Mariazinha, Cova da Moura, Lisbon, 2014
Painting portrays Mariazinha, a woman from Santiago island
bringing home a bag of corn.

Isabel&Mariazinha, Cova da Moura, Lisbon, 2014
Mariazinha helps to Isabel, her mother, to find a right and
comfortable spot to hold three ceramic plates on her head.
The painting is based on still from the documentary movie
The hands of Trás di Munti.

Carrinhas, Cova da Moura, Lisbon, 2014,
The painting was created with participation of Cova da Moura
teenagers. It shows the very typical equivalent of public transport
in Cape Verdes: private vans and pick ups that usually hold a
personalized image/logo on their back. In this mural, teenagers
picked their own image for the car's design instead.