Identity, Memory,
Landscape,
at Castro Marim

Open Call

Project overview

PARTICULAR UNIVERSAL is an EEA Grants funded project centered on the Castro Marim Municipality (southeast Portugal), where between December 2021 and September 2023 a series of artistic co-creation activities related to themes of identity, memory and soundscapes take place. The project includes several different work modules revolving around complementary concepts and strategies, such as (among others), the creation of a sound archive, a community archive related to historical memory, and several themed artistic residencies directed towards Portuguese, Norwegian and international creators with a look towards creating and presenting theatrical works, new music and sound-art.

About Castro Marim

Castro Marim is a district located in the southeast corner of Portugal. With a very long history and multi-cultural heritage (Phoenicians, Romans, Moors and Catholics all occupied this territory), it has played the role of peaceful fortress-city for most of the last thousand years. It has a diverse geographic morphology consisting of a mountainous range up north, the border with Spain on the east - marked by the presence of a wetlands/marshlands ecosystem at the mouth of the Guadiana River - and the Atlantic Ocean on the south.
Its main economic activities have traditionally been salt production and fishing on the coast and agricultural activities up in the mountains, having as well an important historical role in the international trade market, being the first gate of products entering the European mainland via the Guadiana river.
From the 15th century and up until the 20th century Castro Marim was also a region where convicted felons, undesirable or “devious” people were banished to by the Portuguese governments - with the double aim of settling a sparsely populated territory. This affected a variety of people who were deemed unsuitable for life in established towns, with the LGBTQ+ community being one of the most particularly addressed, alongside those deemed “heretics”, such as jews or witches.

Residency specifications

PARTICULAR UNIVERSAL is accepting applications from Portuguese and international artists, working primarily in the fields of Music and Sound, to take up 10-12 days residencies in Castro Marim, between March and July 2023. The residencies are intended to help artists develop new work in connection to the project themes, which must be publicly presented (in the shape of a concert, installation, video, exhibition, talk, etc) during the residency period. 

Who can apply

Individual artists or duos who work primarily in Music / Sound and are interested in researching and presenting new work connected to the Identity, Memory and Landscape of Castro Marim.

Support

Selected proposals will receive a grant of 1500€ +  travel + accommodation + per diems; PARTICULAR UNIVERSAL will also provide local and technical support throughout the residency.

Proposed themes

  • Local ecosystems, including the Castro Marim Marsh Natural Preserve;
  • Hydrical resources: the Guadiana river, Atlantic Ocean and the Odeleite and Beliche dams; Fortress-city: Castro Marim as a historical military stronghold in Portuguese defense against Spain and Northern Africa);
  • Isolation: the Castro Marim municipality is one of the least populated in the country, and since medieval times and up to mid-20th century it was a place where convicts and undesired population (particularly, but not exclusively, LGBTQ+ people) was forced to exile to by the portuguese government; presently, demographic decline and rural exodus are important social issues;
  • Salt and fishing: with a history of more than 2000 years of salt production, it’s one of the most ancient economic activities in the region, deeply connected with fishing (salt conservation) and trade (salt trade);
  • Borders and contraband: being a border region, it has always had many different flows of people, goods, information, both legal and illegal, coming and going to/from Spain but also the north of Africa.
  • Arts & Crafts, Lore & Legend: Castro Marim has a strong tradition in crafts such as basketry or bobbin lace, which are still somewhat preserved in smaller rural communities, as well as orally transmitted tales and folklore, many of them still connected to its Moorish ancestry.
  • Other: applicants may propose to work on themes other than those listed above, according to their own interests and research on the region they may have done previously (in-person, online, etc)

Possible Venues (to be used either as workspaces, presentation spaces or both)

Casa do Sal

Local exhibition space in the center of Castro Marim. Suitable for AV installations.

Igreja de Santo António

Small church built in mid 17th century in the center of Castro Marim, suitable as a workspace.

Forte de São Sebastião

17th century military fortress in the center of Castro Marim. Suitable as a workspace.

Armazém do Sal

Small warehouse in the middle of the saltlands, suitable for a small show, talk, presentation (no electricity).

Reserva do Sapal de Castro Marim e Vila Real de Santo António

Marsh Natural Reserve. Research area, suitable for walks/outdoor presentations.

Auditório da Biblioteca Municipal de Castro Marim

Auditorium of the local library with 186 seats capacity. Suitable for presentations.

Quinta da Fornalha

Local biological farm close to São Bartolomeu, suitable as a workspace.

Centro Multiusos do Azinhal

Multipurpose space with a main room (with a strong reverb) suitable for small presentations.

Casa de Odeleite

Old merchant house, with rooms suitable for small presentations or exhibitions.

Centro Multiusos das Furnazinhas

Located in the isolated village of Furnazinhas, it is an old primary school turned into a communal space, suitable as a workspace and presentation space for those who appreciate or intend to work on themes related to demographic decline and rural exodus.

Moinho das Pernadas

Old water mill by the Odeleite river bank, suitable as a workspace for those who appreciate seclusion and as a presentation space.

Applicants may ask questions pertaining to this Open Call until January 25th, via mail to info@particularuniversal.pt

Deadline for proposal submissions is January 31st, 2023.

Only proposals submitted via this online form will be considered.