From time to time we send members from our community out on assignment. If you’d like to be eligible for opportunities like this, consider becoming a member. For this trip we sent photographer Lorena Cao to attend this year’s 180 Creative Camp, hosted by Canal180 in Abrantes, Portugal. She took over our Instagram Story, snapped photos of everyone she met, and put together this little event recap. All photos were shot by her unless otherwise credited.
Once again the 180 Creative Camp has taken place in the beautiful Portuguese City of Abrantes. I’m Lorena Cao, a photographer based in Berlin, and I’ve been selected to participate at the camp for this year’s edition. 180 Creative Camp is a great opportunity for young creatives to come together, discover the city and take part at the workshops and activities provided by Canal180.
Canal180 is a Portuguese Television Channel dedicated to arts, culture and creativity and together with the City Council of Abrantes they’ve been bringing energy and creativity to this city since 2013.
Why in Abrantes? 180 Creative Camp has been taking place in Abrantes since 2013. The local community are very open to having us taking over the city for a week in July. Abrantes is a small city in the centre of Portugal, it is a perfect venue for all of us to meet, to log out from the big cities and recharge our batteries. Known as the city of flowers, all artists and creators were also able to fully blossom in it’s environment.
This city has been poorer than a lot of other main Portuguese cities but it has managed to maintain and protect their historical buildings, which in other parts of Portugal have been replaced into modern buildings before the protecting law came into place. During the camp this city gets filled with young people that revitalize the social life of the neighborhoods and collaborate to enhance the creativity in public spaces.
It take us around one hour and a half to get there by train from Lisbon. Although, there were a lot of people coming from different parts of the world! Its small streets filled with flowers and colorful buildings guided us to the welcome dinner at a contemporary arts Gallery called el Quartel. After the City Council, Luis Días gave us a welcome speech we slowly started introducing ourselves and meeting creators and participants while sharing food, drinks and great conversations during sunset. The first day beautifully closed chapter with a psychedelic concert with a band of four, called Galgo.
The next days we also had the chance to see musicians and dance to their sounds during the festival section. Other bands belonging to the festival section during the camp were: Mathilda, David Bruno, Fugly, Ama – Academia de Músicos de Abrantes, Solar Corona, Sequin, DJ Firmeza, Luís Severo, Antònia Folguera and Juanita x Flares.
Once settled in and starting to feel like home we started our second day waking up at the Youth Hostel. After Breakfast we had a tour around Abrantes to discover all areas and secrets. Our tour ended at a beautiful Castle that overlooks the whole city. It was part of the Tagus Line, a line of Castles and fortifications during the Middle Ages.
After our tour we had a come together and a conference at the Quartel to meet the creators and artists that would be giving us the Workshops for the rest of the week.
JORDY VAN DEN NIEUWENDIJK
Jordy van den Nieuwendijk is a Dutch Illustrator, painter and drawing teacher at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. His work is easily recognizable through his use of color, bold lines, playfulness and sense of humor. Although he works with prestigious clients and projects that take him around the world, he says that he is the happiest when he’s walking his dog at the beach.
His Workshop during the camp called “A Micronation” focused on the idea of an independent nation not officially recognized by world governments. The participants created different drawings and paintings focused on an own invented nation. We started designing Passports, ID’s, money and drawing Portraits of our group members. We ended up painting our own flags on a piece of fabric. It was a great way to express yourself in a visual and totally free way.
NEGATIVE FEEDBACK / GEORGE MUNCEY
George Muncey is a 22 years old portrait and contemporary landscape photographer based in London. He works primarily with large format cameras. “Negative Feedback” is a quarterly print magazine he created after his hugely successful YouTube Channel that inspired a Facebook Group where people post their images to get feedback. Muncey has published four zines of his work; Untitled, A Portrait of Venice, MISSING and City of Gold.
Devin Blaskovich is a visual artist and photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. Originally performing artist, he picked up photography in 2013 when he bought a 35mm camera to take pictures of his time in New York. He’s been shooting film ever since. Together with George Muncey he lead the workshop during the camp called “Analog Photography”.
WORKSHOP WITH DEVIN & GEORGE
This workshop focused on working with composition and connecting with other people through the use of photography. We divided into groups and took pictures of the city with instant cameras. The intention was taking polaroids on our own to later show the results and try to connect and relate all of the images of the participants in one page. We also had the chance to take photographs and learn about large format photography with an 8×10 Chamonix Camera.
Jack Turits is a young director based in New York. He started experimenting with filmmaking very early, spending all of his spare time making stop motion animation movies in his basement. Lately he’s been working with Vice Media as a director of major campaigns. One of his latest films is called “Have Had”.
During the camp, his workshop centered on the magic of filmmaking. We first started going through a script he wrote, called “Rearview”. He joined us to the world of storytelling, making us be part and contribute with ideas to create a visual story shot in only one take and seen from a rearview mirror of a car. Two participants had to interpret the Cast from the script and with the addition of our ideas and interpretations, we created a small film shot in one take. We had the chance to screen the results at the last day of the camp and compare with the films the other groups made during the week.
THE ROYAL STUDIO
Is a group of Porto-based graphic designers founded by Joao Castro. Known by their use of fluorescent colors, textures, media and hectic effects. Their vibrant, contemporary design with color-saturated, maximalist style has attracted a wide range of commissions. At 180 Creative Camp workshop, we got to work in Collaboration with The Royal Studio bringing more color to Abrantes. We divided into two groups to start painting a totally raw surface belonging to one of the terraces of the Quartel.
One group had to paint organic forms and the other one structured paintings. We all had to sketch and come up with ideas before the big mess. Once we had divided into structure and organism the second intention was learning how to combine and mix both forms of drawing. The interesting part about this workshop is that, over the week all the rest of the groups had to paint over the already existing work, which resulted to a collaboration in between all participants.
During the 180 Creative Camp the participants also had the opportunity to sit down with the creators and artists for portfolio reviews, and to ask questions and share opinions about work.
Once the last day of the camp had reached we were already feeling nostalgic and surprised by how fast time went by. After getting to know better and sharing the everyday life at the city with all these incredible artists, participants and locals, we already created a strong connection to the place.
During the afternoon we had a tour around the different locations the workshops had taken place. All together we went through the work created during our week at the camp. It was incredibly interesting to see how all different groups had worked during the week and to see how the results converged.
We ended the day sharing a dance and beers at the Gardens of the Castle. With a sky full of stars and lots of hugs and dances we all said goodbye to each other before leaving Abrantes the next morning. We might have said goodbye, but I am sure that a lot of us will stay connected and even work together in the future, which I think is in part the beauty of this journey.
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