Periferias Centrais (Central Peripheries) is an informal working group dedicated to reflecting, acting and making art and culture visible in multiple centres. It is committed to improving professional practices, the regenerative development of territories and the promotion of cultural democracy. It aims to influence public cultural policies.
We reaffirm that opportunities for access to cultural participation are a right. Cultural democracy is essential to the quality of political democracy and, just like it, it must be universal, plural, transparent and promote equality, accessibility and freedom.
We see the arts as a potential space for transformation, education and transcendence. They allow us to exercise our curiosity, critical sense, the ability to choose and to approach other visions and realities.
We perceive communities as the feeling of “us”, fluid and multiple, and the commitment to take care of what is “common”.
We look at territories as ecosystems in constant regeneration, where different communities – human, animal, vegetable, mineral, bacterial, viral, fungal … – are linked in interdependent relationships.
We question the notions of “centre” and “periphery” and the boundaries between them. All places have the potential and the right to develop and not be sentenced to subordination, isolation and peripheralisation.
We believe that people should be treated fairly in all dimensions of life: they are entitled to fair conditions of access to work and effective participation.
We consider it important to bear a critical view of time and hyper-productivity, allowing for time in our agendas to be, to listen and to do, discovering the rhythms of each territory.
We regard the creation and exchange of multiple knowledge among different sectors, entities and people as essential. We defend a non-hierarchical and ethical relationship, one of proximity and dialogue.
We contribute to the construction of a future with a polyphonic memory and wild imagination.
And where does happiness lie?
Happiness lies in the freedom to create, in the construction of communities, in the experience of diversity, in the coexistence of different views of the world, in the participation of all people, wherever they are.
This informal working group emerged in 2018, with the aim of reflecting and demystifying the concepts of “centre” and “periphery”, highlighting the critical mass that exists in each place, sharing ideas and working methods, creating a support base among colleagues.
In 2020, the urgency of the group’s meetings became more evident, they were more regular and more entities started participating. It was also essential to write a manifesto, which defines the group’s objectives and principles.
Who can join and how
Any Portuguese professional cultural entity that embraces the principles of the group’s manifesto and that undertakes to participate in at least 2/3 of the annual meetings – which, on average, are 9.
Currently, the group members are: