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Ponto d'Orvalho

Award category
Reconnecting with nature
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NEW EUROPEAN BAUHAUS RISING STARS: concepts or ideas submitted by young talents (aged 30 or less)
Project title
Ponto d'Orvalho
Full concept/idea title
Ponto d'Orvalho is a transdisciplinary festival in Alentejo, Portuguese countryside

Ponto d'Orvalho is a regenerative space, of creation and renewal. A field to explore the dynamic transformations of the environment and their impact on our collective future and social structures. With a focus on research and experimentation, Ponto d'Orvalho is a transdisciplinary festival open to discussion and environmental action through artistic, social and ecological interventions.

The third edition of Ponto d'Orvalho will take place in September 2022.

What is the geographical scope of your concept/idea?
Does your concept/idea address mainly urban or rural issues?
It addresses urban-rural linkages
Does your concept/idea refer to a physical transformation of the built environment or other types of transformations?
It refers to other types of transformations ('soft investment')
Has your concept/idea benefited from EU programmes and/or funds?
Has your concept/idea won an EU prize?
How did you hear about the New European Bauhaus Prizes ?
Social media
On whose behalf are you submitting the application?
As a representative of an organisation
Please provide a summary of your concept/ idea

Ponto d'Orvalho is a regenerative space, of creation and renewal. A field to explore the dynamic transformations of the environment and their impact on our collective future and social structures. With a focus on research and experimentation, Ponto d'Orvalho is a transdisciplinary festival open to discussion and environmental action through artistic, social and ecological interventions.

In Ponto d'Orvalho different artistic disciplines come together with the intention of producing transformative collective experiences and creating receptive modes of perception and participation. The project proposes the disciplinary intersection through a hybrid program, with emerging and established creators, national and international, who seek the relationship with the environment and change to environmental issues and ecological awareness through art and culture.

The following creatives, artists and speakers have passed through the last two editions (2020 and 2021): Alfredo Sendim, António Poppe, Ari Tavares, Evy Jokhova, Fábio Colaço, Fernanda Botelho, Inês Tartaruga Água, Kino, Laila Sakini, Lula Pena, Marc Leiber, María Inés Plaza Lazo, Isa Guitana, Marta Wengorovius, Mattia Tosti, Norberto Lobo, Pandemónio Studio, Piny Orchidaceae, Stav Yeini, Yu Lin Humm and Xavier Paes.

At a time of social and ecological instability, we welcome a trans-generational audience that seeks to relate to the environment in a regenerative and sustainable way, through the sharing of knowledge, artistic and collective practices. The last editions of Ponto d'Orvalho took place over three days with a multiform program of arts in the landscape. The festival focuses on the importance of more conscious eating practices and presents a range of national and international artistic proposals: concerts, visual arts, performances, holistic practices, talks, workshops, DJ sets, artistic journeys through nature and performative meals. 

Please indicate the main themes of your concept/idea with 5 key words
Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of environmental sustainability (including circularity) and how these would be met.
Please highlight how the concept/idea can be exemplary in this context

The festival takes place in the Portuguese countryside at Montado do Freixo do Meio (Alentejo), one of the most relevante ecological projects with Regenerative Agroecology and Food Sovereignty as an ethical base. Focused in food production on a regenerative agroforestry model and design, recognizing the major role of trees in the ecosystem services. Ponto d’Orvalho brings together artists, scientists, farmers, cooks, philosophers, activists and local experts which are interested in fostering transformation and create narratives which help us to envision a more sustainable future.

The festival has a 0 waste policy where no plastic or other disposable material is used. Since it’s a small-scale festival, the meals are all served with normal porcelain and glass. All meals are made with food from the region and local producers focusing on the importance of more conscious eating practices, in collaboration with Cooperativa Integral Minga, Montado do Freixo do Meio and Gandum Village. 

We value and promote public or electric transportation to the festival, car sharing and electric bicycles. 

We explore and engage with the past and present interactions between humans and the environment in order to  integrate new perspectives that allow us to address issues of environmental justice, sustainability and ecology.


Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of aesthetics and quality of experience beyond functionality and how these would be met.
Please highlight how the concept/idea can be exemplary in this context

Ponto d’Orvalho is a regenerative festival that crosses generational and disciplinary borders to explore artistic, social and ecological action. It takes place in Montemor-o-Novo, in the Alentejo, one of the most rural and underpopulated regions in Europe. 

The festival aims to create an awareness of environmental sustainability through the arts, with live performance, visual arts and site-specific events. 

The Arts are central, not peripheral, to social change: art can connect with our analytical brain, but it is particularly great at connecting with the more intuitive parts of ourselves and is one of the most effective ways of engaging us emotionally. Through art, we want to trigger new collective paradigms that provoke transformation.

We desire to foster the sharing and exchange of knowledge in a space of intimacy, and for this reason we are careful not to oversize the event's capacity. We want to promote a space where audience, speakers, and artists can be together, sharing activities and meals, with fresh and organic products from the Montemor region. The food is carefully prepared by a local team, and the meals are long and relaxed.  

We hope that everyone can enjoy this festival with time, without rush, connecting with nature, but also with each other and with themselves.  

We also well-being through a diverse program, including live performances, workshops, talks and hikes through nature. The program is sparse but dynamic, making it possible to enjoy it in an organic way: a walk in the countryside with artistic activities can take a few hours, followed by a long dinner and, only afterwards, a live performance. 


Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of inclusion (equal opportunities, public participation, citizen engagement, co-design, universal design, accessibility, affordability, etc.) and how these would be met.
Please highlight how the concept/idea can be exemplary in this context

We team up with partners  which are inclusive, with the aim to initiate horizontal structures, shared leadership and a strong drive toward change. We search for works and ideas which bring together artistic practices, environmentalism and the spiritual values of reverence for nature. We want to engage in projects which emphasize the act of repair, care and make us attuned and sensible for embodied experience.

Ponto d'Orvalho is a space where access to all collective groups is privileged. We operate in a large natural space with no structural barriers that make free circulation in the space possible to everyone.The multidisciplinary and diverse program invites a broad audience to enjoy the festival. We are also developing an ecological and artistic program with the community intended to bring the local audience closer, and create a space for bilateral sharing of knowledge and experiences. 

During the period leading up to the festival, a program of educational services will be developed with the local schools at Montemor-o-Novo, which includes visits to the Farm Montado do Freixo do Meio, conversations with the artists and a planting action in Gandum Village, a new project with a regenerative approach to tourism. We also offer a discount ticket for local residents that includes all activities, concerts, vegetarian meals with local products and access to the ecological campsite.


Please explain how these three dimensions would be combined in your concept/idea.
Please highlight how this approach can be exemplary

Ponto d'Orvalho is a transdisciplinary festival open to discussion and environmental action through artistic, social and ecological interventions. 

Ponto d'Orvalho seeks a greater intimacy in creation and in the relationship with the audiences, allowing for another proximity and reflecting a blurring between culture/art and life. It seeks to reinvent the spaces of creation and presentation, to deepen the openness to dialogue between various artistic disciplines and cultural practices more connected with nature and the more-than-human communities. The presence of environmental sustainability concerns in the programming is crucial, as is the participation of the local community. 

Diversity and inclusion is sure to be at the epicenter of our curatorial program. We invite a range of local, national and international artists and speakers, both emerging and established, with a program focused on diversity and intersectionality. We welcome a trans-generational audience, both international and local, specialized and just curious to experience our festival in an intimate setting. 

We promote the construction of new values focused on environmental sustainability, through artistic events, talks, workshops and a tree planting action in an agro-forest with students and parents from a school in Montemor.

We want to open Ponto d'Orvalho to the whole community and that is why some of the activities are free of charge, and there are also discount tickets for the public of the region. 


Please highlight the innovative character of the concept/idea as compared to mainstream practices in the field of the concept/idea.

Ponto d'Orvalho proposes an innovative change in the way to program an arts and ecology festival in the countryside. We urge cultural decentralization, producing a meeting in Montemor, Alentejo (one of the most desertified areas in Europe), for a trans-generational audience, open to the local, national and international community. 

We seek to offer a transformative experience with diverse artistic proposals, talks and workshops sensitive to environmental issues.  We give space to ecological activism through disciplinary intersection. We enhance intimacy and a horizontal relationship between artists and audience, through a limited but open to all, with shared meals, inviting spontaneous artistic performances.

Our curatorial practice reflects the importance of slowing down, of being more empathetic and less individualistic, of the importance of community, of being more connected to the other and to the natural space. The festival's programming instigates artistic proposals that are holistic and embrace vulnerability. We believe that vulnerability can power innovation, creativity and change. 

Ponto d'Orvalho recognizes that pleasure is a measure of freedom. Through a diverse program, in a natural setting conducive to intimacy and meeting the other, we seek a radically new experience: create more room for joy, wholeness, and aliveness (and less room for oppression, repression, self-denial and unnecessary suffering) in our lives.


Please detail the general plans that you have for the further development, promotion and/or implementation of your concept/idea.

We want to disseminate interdisciplinary creation processes and their relationships. One of the things that is a key factor in the project is the involvement of various types of public, without any level of specialization being required on any theme. The fruition and mediation are thought out for all types of public and it is in these crossed ideas that the project is developed and enriched: exchange, sharing and accessibility.
Mediation facilitates dialogue and the exchange of knowledge. We strongly believe that mediation can happen by combining the following factors: LOCAL: involvement of the community of the Montemor-o-Novo area (Alentejo, Portugal), either through the program activities of the educational service that will take place throughout the year, either as an artistic basis of work that the artists will be able to work with in the residencies they will do in the countryside; NATIONAL: Create awareness for the festival and bring people from various points of the country to this sparsely populated region; INTERNATIONAL: Create partnerships that bring attention to this area of the country, as well as internationalize the artistic projects that will be presented here for the first time; EDUCATIONAL SERVICE: To create a strong involvement of the various communities on an ongoing basis. The program of Ponto d’Orvalho seeks to open the dialogue between various artistic disciplines and cultural practices more connected with nature and the more-than-human communities and create awareness of environmental sustainability through the arts. Promoting this relation with nature through education activities (for the general public, young people, families, etc) is one of the basis of our program. PROMOTION: national and international press coverage, sending of regular newsletters and announcement of the program; communication strategy for social channels to create awareness and engagement throughout the year. 

Imagine that your idea/concept is awarded in the New European Bauhaus Prizes 2022. What kind of initiatives would you take throughout the following year (June 2022- June 2023)

In 2022 we celebrate the third edition of Ponto d'Orvalho. The challenges we set since the first edition are focused essentially on creating and maintaining spaces for exchange through nature and art, spaces of care where we can collectively think of new possibilities for the future. To achieve this, we have been working on a program that brings these factors together and deepens these intersections, without necessarily having an exponential growth in the number of participants, but rather a growth and enrichment of this collective space. Winning the Bauhaus Prize will help us to grow gradually and constructively (both program ambition and number of participants), and to develop and deepen what is in our DNA: Ponto d'Orvalho is a regenerative space, of creation and renewal, a field to explore the dynamic transformations of the environment and their impact on our collective future and social structures. And we believe that these values will be increasingly relevant in the coming economic, political, social and ecological context.

Initiatives to take out from June 2022 to June 2023:

> Create a programme of ARTISTIC RESIDENCES IN THE COUNTRYSIDE, which allows us to create a greater crossing between artists and this area of the country, and creates positive contaminations between these two contexts, which are now distant. 

> Diversity of the cultural offer in the national territory, promoting the decentralization of cultural initiatives;

> Create a strong educational service and public programme focused on environmental sustainability and public awareness through art;

> Promote planting and reforestation actions;

> Generate awareness for water consumption;

> Promoting national and international partnerships that help promote the project and the internationalization of Portuguese art;

All of these initiatives will have a focus on ethnic and cultural diversity, gender equality, as well as accessibility for all audiences

By ticking this box, you declare that you are not in in one or more of the exclusion situations foreseen under Article 136 of the Financial Regulation.
By ticking this box, you declare that all the information provided in this form is factually correct, that you assume sole liability in the event of a claim relating to the activities carried out in the framework of the contest, that the proposed concept/idea has not been proposed for the New European Bauhaus Prizes 2022 in any other category or strand and that it has not been subject to any type of investigation, which could lead to a financial correction because of irregularities or fraud.
By submitting your application, you guarantee that you are the author or have the rights to proceed with the application and to authorise the use of the project, concept, idea, and that you have obtained any necessary consents, licenses or assignments from third parties and included copyright notices when necessary.
By submitting your application, you understand that all the applications that meet the eligibility requirements will be shared for the purposes of the selection processes, and notably published on the secured platform and for the purposes of the promotion of these on the New European Bauhaus website and/or other European Commission communication channels. In this sense, the applications would be widely available. Applicants should ensure that they present their ideas, concepts, projects, in such a way that they could be shared without giving rise to intellectual property related concerns. If your submission is selected as one of the finalists, it will additionally be shared for the purpose of the public vote that will take place. The European Union is granted a licence to use and share your application with the general public and the official external experts for the purposes of the selection process, including the voting. The European Union has the right to use the images and visual materials and the description provided in the application for communication purposes related to the contest and beyond. Rights granted comprise the right to store, reproduce, display, publish and communicate or distribute copies in electronic or digital format, including, but not only, through the internet. Unless you have disclosed your name, the European Commission has no obligation to share your name when using or disseminating your contribution to the public. The European Union cannot be held responsible in case any submitted idea, project, concept is found to infringe third parties rights. The European Union shall be neither responsible for the use that third parties may do of the applications or related content.


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