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Anti-rumour agents and cultural activities to increase acceptance of newcomers in Amadora (PT)

02 August 2018
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Amadora is - within the universe of the Portuguese municipalities - the one that has delved the deepest into issues linked to the acceptance of migrants.

Anti-rumour networks

From 2014 on, the Amadora participated in Council of Europe supported project with an extended group of other European cities.

From that project resulted the creation of the creation of anti-rumours network in each city.

The anti-rumour networks involve the public administration, the social organisations and citizens. The networks had the objective of creating "anti-rumours agents" in the fight against incorrect beliefs, stereotypes and common prejudices that target the immigrant population and ethnic minorities.

A highly ambitious campaign

Amadora developed an ambitious campaign. The main aim was to change the often negative image that the local population has of migrants and that the Portuguese population has of the municipality.

Four national figures - an actress, a singer, a journalist and a sportsman of high competition – collaborated to ensure a high visibility to the campaign.

“Do not feed the rumour” is the URBACT Good Practice of Amadora (PT).

Watch the general presentation of the project in video:

Anti-rumour agents, arts and culture to change perceptions

Amadora trained dozens of anti-rumour agents.

Amadora also used culture and the arts to fight stereotypes. Here we provide a short description of some of the key cultural activities implemented:

What is the true colour of the clouds?

Exploring the thoughts, feelings and attitudes of the participants towards existing rumours was the main aim of this workshop, organised during the International Comics Festival of Amadora.

Pathways to Integration: the value of the facts.

This theatre-debate was based on the Theatre of the Oppressed methodology. It offered performances, in which the rumours were shown by the players and which were then commented by experts.

Solidarity Walk

A solidarity walk with more than 700 people took place in the streets of Amadora. The walk was very impressive, as the city is very compact and has a high population density.

To watch the ‘memorial of the project’, which contains a summary of all the actions:

Migrants’ testimonies from people living in Amadora

It's my hometown in Portugal. I do not see myself living in another place.
I found good people. People are nice.
I'm already used to it. I already feel at home.
I feel completely integrated.”
Amadora is a good city to live in.”

Testimonies of immigrants are available here (video in Portuguese)

Legacy

The campaign was a driving force behind the proposed constitution of the "ARRIVAL CITIES" network, of which Amadora was the lead partner.

Ana Tomás and Dina Moreira, both from the Special Projects Office of the Amadora City Council, which we interviewed for this article, both insist that the promotion of the campaign should continue and be supported by a strong political commitment.

The three videos were produced by TV Amadora and are available on the website and on the Facebook page of the project and on Youtube.

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