From stage to screen and back to a new reality: everything can be transformed

Artist´s name: Ana R. Silva
Labyrinth movie
Second Chance School of Matosinhos
Bea Moreira

Graduated in Languages and International Relations but always living through performance arts, namely music, dance and theatre, we got Ana to tell us her story, much influenced by her “intention to use the arts as an instrument for social inclusion”.

In the last years, apart from many other projects, she worked with the portuguese network of second chance schools, which, same as others of the same type in Europe, serve young dropouts, mostly living in contexts of social vulnerability, giving them an education more adequate to their needs and talents, and, at the same time, a “second chance to the educational system, to help them in finding their own path”.

Each second chance school has its specificities, being that E2OM, the first and for long the only one in the country, has Arts as a central instrument in porsuing its objective of promoting the training and social inclusion of its students. One of the main yearly activities is, therefore, the development of a final show, involving all school community, aimed at “connecting all educational subjects, all students’ talents, and give them a stage so that they may also reach their own communities in their own terms, thus promoting their integration”.

Year 2020 wouldn’t have been an exception, being that the event was again planned to be a stage show. This once, it was set, since the first moment, to focus, on its 500th anniversary, on the first circumnavigation trip, led by portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.

However, pandemic forced such plans to be revised and what seemed to have no solution, became, in the end, a successful path with many roads.

The first adaptation, during lockdown, gave place to the creation of a movie, with a shared focus between the overcoming of impossibles of the journey that made the world global, and the contemporary challenges, in which many were suddenly confined to their own smaller worlds.

From classes, auditions and rehearsals, to recordings and the final editing moments, everything was done in the context that has become the most common in recent times: online.

With the support of professional artists in the field, such as Krasi Stoichkov (visual storyteller), the always present supervision of the school’s artistic director Poliksena Hardalova, the unending dedication of the school staff/artists and students and the precious help of their friends and families, the first globalising event in History inspired a movie about resilience in some of the most vulnerable contexts of pandemic time. A boat that set sail in the then “known” world, getting through the unknown, to a new normal, translating, in the end, into sparkles in the eyes of the young participants, filling them with pride for their own achievements and hope for a better future!

The long journey wasn’t over yet, though. When the period of lockdown was over, for 2021’s final artistic event to take place, one more challenge came along: readapting the story, then made movie, to a face-to-face but still pandemic context. The solution found this time was the development of a sensory labyrinth, which allowed a limited number of spectators to actually take part on each voyage.

Along 18 presentations, around 200 people got to experience the sensations provided by a group of talented youngsters, usually taken as astray, getting to establish a much closer relationship with them any stage show would have allowed.

After this journey, filled with trials and tribulations, Ana leaves an advice for artists trying to conquer “unreachable” dreams: “to reach farther you should be attentive to your audience, you may even need to adapt in many ways, but people will only be touched if you do what is meaningful to you, and it’s actually possible to do it on a deeper level if you don’t lose your identity along the way”.

“Circumnavigation”’s motto stated: “only impossible missions are worthy”, and here, mirroring what happens everyday in many corners of the world, in which more hopeful ways of looking at people and their possibilities are nurtured, what seemed impossible became a reality.

Let’s make the impossible possible and inspire more and more young artists out there! Come with us and be a part this journey!


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