Bootcamp #2 – Portugal, June 2023
Searching for innovative solutions for the engagement of the general public in human rights issues
in partnership with AKTO – Direitos Humanos e Democracia
This was part of a multiyear initiative to create a space where engaged anthropologists and artists interested in learning about applied anthropology and its intersection with art using the theme of social inclusion. The objective of this bootcamp was to give a hands-on approach to applied anthropology. In Portugal, this expertise in the field is neglected in today’s academic sphere, with very few professionals, information, and teaching on the subject.
Because of this, the bootcamp created an environment where you could learn by doing, based on a team pressure-cooker setup. You could discover how to prototype solutions through design thinking, learn how to ‘sell’ your ideas and insights, and work on real-world challenges and express and inspire solutions through art.
The AnthroArt Project partnered with “AKTO – Direitos Humanos e Democracia”, an NGO focused on the enhancement of education, promotion, and intervention in the Human Rights and Democracy fields, to create a positive change and build a fairer and more equitable world. They aim to be an organization with strong national and international credibility in the protection, promotion, and intervention of Human Rights, Democracy, and Peace, respected for our independent and transparent conduct, championing values such as humanity, collaboration, transparency, accountability, ambition, and creativity.
The event had an attendance lower than expected, with 3 participants. It started with a kick-off event on the 21st of June, where the participants and the promoters presented themselves. During the week-long bootcamp, the participants worked on the problem posed by AKTO: “How do we engage the general public in the fight for human rights?”. As the event progressed, the participants engaged in research planning, research, and analysis of the research, design of a solution, testing it to understand its strong and weak points, and creating a pitch of the solution, by constructing a story of the process, with the guidance of the promoters of the project from the Dutch partners, as well as a designer present during the event to help teach and develop the solution design and visual presentation and structure of the pitch.
On the last day, the participants presented their final pitches of the solutions they developed, in front of a jury composed of the promoters and the representative of the partner NGO. There was also an artist present to listen to the pitches, the process, and the story of the bootcamp to create visual illustrations that represent the work and dedication of this event and will be divulged later, as well as a filming crew that will create a documentary.
The 3 pitches focused on the same major question posed, but during the bootcamp week, and through the work done during those days, the problems considered and the solutions presented were fairly different. The first presentation focused on sexual harassment and discrimination in the universities, a theme that’s very present in Portuguese society, and how can we improve the general public intervention and support. It proposed a solution focused on informing and capacitating the general public, as well as providing a level of support to victims.
The second pitch considered questions related to LGBT+ communities’ safety and support and focused on how can these communities feel safer in their day-to-day lives. It proposed a solution considering safety signs that double as support and information hubs for LGBT+ communities and allies.
The final presentation focused on, again, LGBT+ communities’ safety and support, but considered their safety and presence in public spaces such as restaurants. The solution proposed suggests the creation of a safe space certification, a visible representation to show the commitment of public spaces to help in this problem as well as to assure and inform these communities of friendly and supportive spaces.
Although the number of participants in the event was lower than the expected number, we believe it was a success for the participants, as they learned new skills, hacks, and processes that will be useful and helpful to them going forward. We hope that, as we continue to develop these events during this year, and the next, the adhesion will the greater, as they are a great space to learn new tools.