The Community Museum

The Community Museum was a project whose aim was to build a temporary museum exhibiting only objects borrowed by the inhabitants of the neighbourhood where the project was taking place: the Vila Chã square, in the city of Porto. The purpose was to stimulate a debate around the concepts of heritage, identity and representation on a local level, either for the people who were borrowing objects or for the visitors of the museum. We wanted to promote a reflection on the way people represent the places where they live, through objects.

The project started with an initial approach to the inhabitants who were willing to participate on the construction of the museum. Then, a question was asked: “If you would have to choose an object that represents your relationship with this neighbourhood , what object would it be?”. Depending on the object mentioned, we asked if the person could lend it to be part of the temporary museum; if not, a picture of the object would be shown instead . The objects gathered were organized in a “museum”, an ephemeral structure built only with old and disposable materials available on the neighbourhood. The Museum was “open” at Largo da Rua Chã during the first week of May 2015.

Although we didn’t have created the alhures collective yet, we consider this to be the first project where our principles and ideas were turned into practice.

The Community Museum was created and developed by Maria Manuela Restivo and João Moreira, with the collaboration of Luciano Moreira, Nuno Ferreira and Vera Carmo. The strucutre of the Museum was conceived and built by Patrick Hubmann and Diana Sá. The project had the financial support of the Municipality of Porto under the program Locomotiva.