- The workshop is one of the cultural activities included in the BRIDGES programme for social inclusion taking place in Tortosa.
- The final activity of the workshop involved painting a mural with aspects of the cultural life of Tortosa at the old Samo factory – an unused building which will be converted into a centre for social and cultural groups.
- Tortosa city council and the Unió de Consells Esportius de Catalunya (UCEC) are the Catalan representatives of this European initiative to promote social cohesion.
Supporting and promoting inclusive communities in Europe and helping local groups through solidarity are two of the fundamental bases of the European social programme BRIDGES. Culture, sport, and voluntary work are the three fields of activities carried out in Tortosa. One of the cultural activities is a workshop about design and wall mural painting. It started at the beginning of July and aims to bring youngsters together and promote intercultural cohesion through large-scale artistic expression.
About thirty youngsters aged between 6 and 16 years old have worked on aspects such as relationships between people, intercultural links and solidarity, through design work and painting a mural. The first sessions of the workshop were theory-based, teaching participants about artistic creations and graffiti around the world. In the practical part, the youngsters painted their artistic proposal on a large wall at the abandoned Samo factory which will soon be converted into a new centre for social and cultural groups from Tortosa.
“We had to design pictures related to the cultural side of Tortosa, such as the giant figures known as ‘gegants’ which dance at local festivals, or the firework groups from summer fire festivals. When the organizers explained it we got really excited, and when they told us we would paint it on a huge wall for people to see, we were even more amazed,” says 12-year-old Martí, one of the participants in the workshop. He explains that projects like this workshop are beneficial for the town, “because there are run-down areas or buildings that no one uses and this is a way to make use of them, make them more beautiful and improve the area.” Fellow participant Mohamed, also 12 years old, said that, apart from the chance to paint a huge wall with a variety of colours, the workshop was a great opportunity to meet people different from those you are normally with, people from different communities, and that this “means you have more friends and fewer conflicts.”
With their monitor, Paula, guiding them, the youngsters have demonstrated their talents with paint and brushes and they have worked together to carry out this project which they think will be important as many people will see it. “Thanks to this workshop we have come here to paint this unused building and leave a reminder of the BRIDGES project which will be here forever,” added Mohamed.
Oscar Pla and Ana Moreno
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