Space Transcribers


July 2017

Monuments of my Neighbourhood

Photography workshop

A photography workshop, dedicated to the youngsters of three social housing neighbourhoods in Braga, Portugal, that explored mechanisms of interaction, proximity and valuation of the common objects and spaces of the everyday life of its participants in their neighbourhoods.



The photography workshop of “(Re)Escrever o Nosso Bairro” project was an activity created for the youngsters of Braga´s Social Housing Neighbourhoods: “Enguardas”, “Santa Tecla”, and “Complexo Habitacional do Picoto”. Starting from the pedagogical and sensitive possibilities inherent to the field of photography, this activity, named “The Monuments of My Neighbourhood”, aimed to explore mechanisms of interaction, proximity and valuation not only of the common objects and spaces of the everyday life of its participants, but also of their spatial practices in the neighbourhoods. The photographic camera became a mediation tool in the process of inclusion, revitalizing specific relations of appropriation and identity, which many often are trivialized, but that with this activity are becoming monuments.

The activity consisted on the distribution of disposable analog photographic cameras to a group of children and teenagers, with ages between 5 and 15 years old, and incite them to look to objects and spaces, that they like or dislike at their homes or at their neighbourhoods public space: from their ball, to their pet, their bedroom or their best friend and their families, these photos seek to be a current and realistic testimonial of the life in these neighbourhoods. The common citizen looks often to these neighbourhoods and their communities through a vicious perspective, towards a set of preconceived ideas usually associated to criminality, violence or poverty, which at the end, result in a distance and enhance, segregation. From the uncommitted and the voluntary innocence of the child's gaze, “The Monuments of My Neighbourhood” intended to be an active tool for the deconstruction of this prejudice and for the re-education of the common citizen´s perspective, showing them images full of vivid joy and creating a critical sense over personal and collective spaces.
The activity was divided into two parts:

— The first corresponded to its practical and experimental development with the distribution of the cameras, the learning of their handling, the explanation of the general goals and the making of the photographs. After this experience, the cameras were collected and taken to a photography lab for development. A second session followed with the selection over the contact sheets, by the participants, of 6 photographs to be printed and enlarged. This was the central moment of the activity where, after walking in the neighbourhood, the dialogues and the handling and the observation through the photographic camera, the participants were induced to look in a critical sense to the work they have done and to the subjects that they choose to depict.

— The second part corresponded to the consignment of the printed photographs and to the realization of a public exhibition. The printed photographs consisted of a group of 5 photos in a 10x15cm and one framed photo with a 20x30cm format. This method served not only as a reward but also as a symbolic moment to value their work. It's an object, which can endure the moment over time in the memory of the participants and their families.

The public exhibition, which intends to show at least one photo by each participant, serves the purpose of both valuing and highlighting the proximity and the visibility of these realities to the common citizen of Braga, rehearsing thus, the demystification and the deconstruction of the prejudice towards these neighbourhoods and their inhabitants.


Space Transcribers
Braga´s City Council


June to July 2017


Bairro das Enguardas,

Bairro de Santa Tecla,

Complexo Habitacional do Picoto.

Braga, Portugal


André Castanho Correia

In a period marked by the abundance of images and where photography is a democratized tool for the human´s everyday life, the implementation of this activity was a risk. Just as most of the teenagers and the children of nowadays, the youngsters of these neighbourhoods have also an easy access to the Internet, smartphones and tablets where photography can easily become trivialized. Many of these youngsters were born and grew up in a reality in which film photography never existed and to whom photography is something virtual and immaterial present only on a screen. Nevertheless, at the end, the response to this activity was a success: the photographic camera became a loyal companion in the experience of exploring the neighbourhood, and the printed results became a joyful reward, a motive of dialogue and compassion. Moreover, the participation and commitment of the participants on the activity was very unique, and it was naturally expanded to the families and friends: the youngsters began to play a role of social responsibility and representation, towards the reality of the neighbourhoods.

Many of these youngsters could become good photographers. That can be noticed in the photographs. But this was also evident in the passion and in the commitment they carried out along the activity. This is a very different paradigm from the school context, where these youngsters are conventionally marked by their supposed lack of interest, capabilities and by their aggressive posture in confronting with their colleagues from different social realities.

“The Monuments of My Neighbourhood” have, thus, a pedagogical attitude, showing that, even in a difficult context of a social neighbourhood, of vulnerable families exposed to the worst problems concerning economic, social and educational conditions, there is also space for sensibility, for talent and for a dedicated performance on a creative activity.



July and August 2017
Braga, Portugal

Bairro Social das Enguardas,
Bairro Social de Santa Tecla,
Complexo Habitacional do Picoto

(Re)Escrever o Nosso Bairro

Braga´s City Council

Space Transcribers

André Castanho Correia

Bairro Social das Enguardas
Américo Monteiro
Francisca Queiroz
Gonçalo Queiroz
Jesus Corona
João Monteiro
Márcio Ferreira
Mariana Monteiro
Matias Pereira
Milito Monteiro
Nataniel Monteiro
Rodrigo Queiroz

Bairro Social de Santa Tecla
Arnaldo Nascimento
Célio Nascimento
Francisca Cabreiros
Georgina Maia
Gerson Maia
Gonçalo Maia
Isaque Romero
Juliano Cabreiros
Miguel Cabreiros
Ricardo José
Sara Maia
Tamara Nascimento

Complexo Habitacional do Picoto
Álvaro Maia
Emanuel Salazar
Erica Monteiro
Erica Silva
Francisco Monteiro
Joel Pedro
Mara Maia
Mateus Tibita
Nádia Monteiro
Noemi Maia
Samuel Monteiro
Francisco Maia
Débora Maia

Cruz Vermelha, Delegação de Braga — Geração Tecla (Programa Escolhas)
Centro Social de Santro Adrião — T3TRIS (Programa Escolhas)
Associação de moradores das Enguardas

Norte 2020 - European Social Fund