Women have created alternative means of registering their own personal, as well as social collective memories and subjectivities in handcrafted, embroidered and other artisanal technique female narratives. The ’embroidery community’ of elderly women in the Lagoinha Complex, a socially troubled urban area in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, has shown an authentic resilient attitude against historical oppressions, such as discrimination related to gender, ethnicity, education, social class, and ageism. This is a follow-up project from “Lagoinha Heritage Development Design” developed in 2018 and 2019, focused on raising awareness and triggering discussions about the bonds established between design and memory. It has brought to light the potential of the transformative and decolonizing praxis in art and design teaching and learning process, research and extension programs. It also highlights the social, political and activist character of these interventions in order to encourage communities to envisage and develop the necessary conditions for their well-being. Adopting the oral history approach, this action might promote the making of new imagery narratives rooted in the territory. By means of participatory design, all participants can act as co-researchers, and co-designers. We, as facilitators of this process, aim at strengthening centers at the margins, by unlearning oppression and fostering autonomy.
aging; oral history; participatory design; autonomy
About the Authors
Andréia De Bernardi is a Brazilian art/educator who works at the intersections of art, cultural heritage and design. PhD candidate in Design at Minas Gerais State University/UEMG, she holds a B.A. in Art Education and has a Master in Education. Working at the Social Design Integrated Center (CIDS/UEMG), her current interests consist of art education, design and memory, decolonizing pedagogies and participatory design projects. She is also a professor of the Visual Arts teaching degree at Minas Gerais State University in the Design School. She is currently developing a research project in co-operation with Edson José Carpintero Rezende, Ph.D, and Juliana Rocha Franco, Ph.D, whose aims to collaboratively construct symbolic cartographies by using social design approach and participatory skills. Andréia has been designing and carrying out social projects, inspiring people and groups who have, for several reasons, suffered from opression and have had their subjectivities made totally invisible by the maistream stablishment. Her projects encourage the contact with cultural and traditional manifestations and artistic experimentation in an aesthetic background backed by the personal heritage of the people involved. In 2018 Andréia led the “Lagoinha_Heritage Design Development” extension project, presented in CUMULUS Conference 2019 – The Design After, in Bogotá, Colombia.