A lot of different people were in the group of dancers, mostly from Portugal but also from all countries involved in the project: Dancer of the company, dancers from the secondary group, people with and without disability (mental or physically disabled), blind dancer, children, all target groups and also people who never danced before have participated, as well as teachers, organisators, coordinator, manager of the different organisations, volunteers and various artists. For a lot of them it was their first time on stage.
The MA-MA project (Motivation by Art-Art as a Motivation) is a Grundtvig Learning partnership project within the Lifelong Learning program, supported by the european commission.
The MA-MA project is an interdisciplinary artistic project for disabled young adults (18-30 y.) This project is based on creative exchanges between artists and mentally or physically disabled persons. Five organisations of five european countries are participating to this project as a partner. The partners organisations are working in different ways and in different artistic fields (dance, visual art, video, music), and/or are more spezialised in the work with disabled persons.
The main idea of this project is a mutual learning experience: In this partnership we would like to link art and disability, and propose some active exchanges where the disability is in the center of a creative learning process, and where the artistic experience will be open to many artistic forms, in the meaning of an “art without borders”.
We would like to create an innovative exchange of practices, learning to learn from artists as well as from disabled people, giving a mutual motivation and developing an efficient awareness about the creative potentiality in each of us.
There is in our societies a huge need of awareness, concerning our vision on disability -and all kind of handicapped or limited people- who are normally underestimate, if not just rejected. There is also a fear of them.
This conception needs to be changed, or to be developed for more objectivity, and for a more integrative way to think and to act with differences. Our society needs skills to learn how to take down the discrimination and the prejudice, and how -on the contrary- to use the weakness into a force, to increase the value of each person in any condition, to give to this person a right place in the society and specially to become aware that each one have to learn from each other.
Disabled people have a very special intuitive way to express themselves in the artistic field, and to consider it. Through their handicap (or even “thanks” to it), they have a different approach of the creativity and the artistic process, and they are able of another understanding of the artistic work and its meaning. An artist is a person who is looking for more understanding of himself and of the world around him, through the artistic experience and its sens. Artists plays therefore an important role in our society, and belongs to it in a quite special way. Art is also a research of the limits, to understand oneself. In this meaning, artists and handicapped people are connected.
The project takes place in this “reciprocal need” of the experience of each other, to give a new impulse in artistic as in social fields, as well as an efficient support and motivation for disabled persons in the society. This innovative approach of the artistic work will be a very stimulated learning experience in Europe, for all the participants, and also beyond the project itself.