© João Galante / casaBranca

Shock Lab – Creative Practices in Peripheral Contexts

19 > 22 OCT 2018 / Loulé and Faro, Portugal

Between October 19 and 22 Verão Azul proposes to hold a Lab that allows to map and identify the artistic practices of creators that work in the peripheries, either because they are situated in the outskirts of the great urban centres, or because they chose to develop projects located at the borders of the great artistic circuits.
During four days we invite artists to put into their body (effective or symbolic) the meaning of the word periphery. We propose thinking about this concept taking as a basis the idea that the concept of periphery is a social construction of the main power centres that define cultural hegemonies and, as such, means of power of ones over the others, as said by Gramsci and developed later by Chantal Mouffe.

With this Lab, our intention is to generate an in-between space before the festival’s next edition in 2019, where the exchange of practices and knowledge around the arts is possible, taking as a reference axis questions on the ways and motivations of the artists themselves for doing what they do.
Divided between the cities of Loulé and Faro (the activities rotate between both centres: on October 19 and 20 the Lab is held in Loulé and on the 21 and 22 it is held in Faro), the Lab is also open to public participation in both cities, with the presentation on October 20 of a Performative Route (Performances in the City) through several places in Loulé, and the presentation on October 21, in Faro at Teatro das Figuras, of a Participatory Performative Installation called “Long Table”, a device created by the British activist and artist Lois Weaver.

© Axel Meléndez

We invited to join the Lab as agents provocateurs the artists Mónica Calle (stage director, actress and director of Casa Conveniente), Gustavo Ciríaco (choreographer, performer) and Fernando Pinheiro. Taking into account their own artistic practices, their role will be to mediate the Lab and to be able to question the urgencies, dynamics and desires of all of the participants.

The Lab dynamic will lay on the concept of polyphonic collective. Therefore we propose a working version that allows the exposure of individual aspects, but also one that generates connections among each participant, trying to answer the questions: in what way does this theme speak to us and how does it transform our way of creating and participating in society? In what way my approach to the context offers a differential conscience in the work?

We open this call to the participation of artists from different areas: dance, theatre, performance, music, cinema, visual arts.
As a result of the open call to artists and arts professionals for the Shock Lab, the participants list is as follows:

Alexandre Valinho Gigas
Poetry, Music (Portuguese, Coimbra)
Ana Galvão
Visual Artist (Portuguese, Almada)
Ana Sofia Peixoto (o_phe_lia)
Performance (Portuguese, Braga)
Annabelle Pirlot
Dance (French, Paris)
Bruno Caracol
Visual Artist (Portuguese, Lisboa)
Catarina Bota Leal
Visual Artist, Performance (Portuguese, Coimbra)
Gabriela Pas
Interdisciplinary arts (Brasilian, Lisboa)
Mauro Amaral
Music, Performance (Portuguese, Faro)
Miguel Alexandre de Oliveira
Film (Portuguese, Tavira)
Diana Bernedo Tarragona / Coletivo Jat
Fisical theatre (Spanish, Faro)
Miguel Martins Pessoa / Coletivo Jat
Fisical theatre (Portuguese, Faro)
Paulina Szczesna
Theatre (Polish, Berlim)
Sofia Guerreiro
Visual Artist / Design (Portuguese, Faro)
Valentina Parravicini
Dance (Italian, Lisboa)

Each participant will present a project on the Shock Lab theme, with which they will show their creative and thought processes for these four days.


The Lab will work as a limited time-based space of production, from the singular to the collective. The methodology used is based on the idea of play defined by the situationists: the purpose is not to compete but rather to build and to participate together in the making of playful environments that enable participants to engage freely during its performance, without fears or hierarchies.

On the first day, we invite participants to present themselves, as well as their projects. Everyone will follow these presentations, which are closed to the general public. Afterwards, the participants will be divided into three work groups, each one supervised by one of the agent provocateur.
While these presentations are a collective moment in which every participant gains awareness on the works of their fellow artists, the questioning is made between the three work groups. Drawn from the individual presentations and the mapping of concepts that cross these presentations, we propose a space of qualitative feedback, which will be guided by the provocateurs, in order to prepare blocks of exposure of those same works the next day.
The role of the provocateurs is to question the intentions, proposals and doubts of each participant, so that it is possible to establish relations and dynamics between artists from each group, and between each group in relation to the others. Because of that, it is important that each participant arrives with a very concrete proposal for conception and that he will be ready to react quickly to every methodology proposed.

On the second day, and based on all the work developed the day before, the participants will present their projects in three programming blocks during the afternoon, supervised by the agents provocateurs and supported by the Verão Azul’s team. This will be the Lab’s first public moment, which consists on proposing a Performative Route (Performances in the City) set around the practices of the 15 participant artists to the city of Loulé, during the afternoon of October 20.
The dramaturgical capacity of the artistic proposal as well as its elaboration as a stage or visual device is more important than its technical performance.
It is also up to the provocateurs and the participants themselves to find and to readjust the concepts that unite or separate the presentations, during this route.
The third day of work will be build upon this gathering of concepts and the observation of the different projects, mandatory to all.

On the morning of the third day there will be a collective feedback session, where all the participants play a game that will enable to transmit the positive sides of each project and those to be worked, desires over each one, taking into account the context, the conditions and the intentions of each artist.
During the afternoon at Teatro das Figuras, in Faro, the Lab will open to the public for a Performative Conversation. Drawn from the device created by the British activist and artist Lois Weaver, we will make a “Long Table”, a participatory performance installation where the experiences from the last two days will be discussed, as well as each artist’s conditions and perspectives. There are also rules of engaging here that ask that each speech, be it from participants or the public, has a performative nature which, even if simple, may be able to offer the possibility of expose postures, people, and projects around the suggested theme.

On the forth day every participant will gather again in three working groups and they will write their conclusions over the lived experience. These conversations will finally be transmitted amongst every participant, and compiled in a document that will serve as a manifest for the Lab, and which will be a part of its documentation.

The entire Lab will be documented: from the individual and group presentations to the sessions and working tables. The result of this documentation takes the form of an online publication that will be used to transmit the experience, the methodologies and practices developed during the days of the meeting.


Applicants should fill the ONLINE FORM with the following information:

1. Personal data;

2. Presentation of a project with which you are applying and which has the possibility of being included in an exhibition circuit, with a duration between 10 to 20 minutes (text with 5.000 to 7.000 characters)

3. Video link for two pieces of your own, that you find essential to define the present moment of your work.

4. Biography (maximum 2000 characters with links, to better understand your professional path);

5. Motivation letter up to a maximum of 5000 characters, in which you explain why it is important to participate in this Lab.

Participant’s profile: Artists and art professionals (in the context of dance, theatre, cinema, visual arts, performance and other associated artistic areas), with a minimum of two prior creations and who are interested in presenting a project subordinated to the theme of the Lab.

Number of participants: 15 participants (7 places for artists from the Algarve and 8 places for national and foreign artists)

Application Deadline: September 28
Decision announcement: October 4

Terms of participation: Availability to be present full-time during the 4 days of the Lab.

Jury: Ana Borralho, Catarina Saraiva and João Galante (Blue Summer Festival), Gil Silva (Teatro das Figuras, Faro), Paulo Pires (Cine-Teatro Louletano)


Mónica Calle (theatre)

© Bruno Simão

Mónica Calle is a theatre director, scenographer, actress and director of Casa Conveniente company, which she started in 1992 with the performance A Virgem Doida, by Rimbaud, building a strong body of work in the subsequent years.
Since 2007 she has developed a form of workshop / theatre performance in which she mixes actors and non-actors.
In 2009 she launches a training project for actors in prisons, working inside the prison establishments and integrating former detainees in the group.
In 2011 she stages several shows from the texts of Heiner Müller. In 2012 she returns to Virgem Doida, now including the whole of Rimbaud’s text A Season in Hell.
In 2013 she directs and performs Os meus Sentimentos by Dulce Maria Cardoso (awarded with Critic Mention Prize and chosen by Expresso newspaper as one of the 10 best theatre performances of the year), A Sagração da Primavera and Noites Brancas.
In 2013 the project Casa Conveniente migrates to Zona J of Chelas (Lisbon), a new space – the Casa Conveniente / Zona Não Vigiada, and returns to the founding idea: to work from the borders. A Boa Alma, presented in January 2015, is the first show staged and performed there.
Since 2014 she develops the project Ensaio para uma Cartografia (chosen by Público newspaper as one of the 10 best performances of the year 2016) and Rifar o meu Coração, a project held with the local comunity of Sé neighborhood, in Oporto.
Her work has been presented in Brazil and in France and is a regular presence at the Almada International Theatre Festival.
In 2017 she was awarded by the government of Portugal with the prize Maria Isabel Barreno – Women in Culture.

Gustavo Ciríaco (dance)

© Sara Pinheiro

Gustavo Ciríaco is an artist and choreographer born in Rio and based in Lisbon. His work converges elements from diverse fields, such as performing arts, landscaping, architecture and visual arts, where the materiality of the context, its sensible sharing and fiction dialogue in interaction with the audience’s presence.
His works have been shown internationally in theatres, festivals, museums and art centres in Europe, South, North and Central Americas, Asia and Middle-East.
In Portugal his work has been present in Museu Colecção Berardo, Culturgest, Teatro Maria Matos, Alkantara Festival, TNDM II, Museu Fundação Serralves, Maus Hábitos, Walk & Talk Azores, Verão Azul, ZDB and Festival Temps d’Images, among others.
He has held lectures and workshops in Saigon, New York, Taipei, Lyon, Fortaleza, São Paulo, Lisbon, Oporto, Ponta Delgada, Rio, Paris, Santiago, Tokyo, Ramallah, Paris, Madrid, Tokyo and Montevideo.

Fernando Pinheiro (visual arts)

© Vasco Célio

1947, Lisbon. Visual artist, Licenciado em 1976 em Artes Plásticas na Universidade de Vincennes. Foi Bolseiro da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, em Paris, onde residiu vários anos. Realizou várias exposições individuais e participou em exposições colectivas em vários países, mas principalmente, em França e em Portugal. He currently lives and works in Algarve.