Sensed Place – a documentary

From September 28-30, the SUSPLACE Consortium met in Aveiro, Portugal for the Midterm Review Meeting. On Saturday September 30, SUSPLACE partner Binaural-Nodar hosted a fieldtrip to the area of Vouzela.

In Carvahal de Milhas, we were warmly welcomed by the village choir. Together with the villagers, we were invited to watch the documentary ‘Lugar Sentido’, or ‘Sensed Place’, produced by SUSPLACE ESR Cátia Rebelo and Luis Costa from Binaural-Nodar as part of Cátia’s research project on ‘Place Ambassadors’.

As Cátia writes:

The present documentary is the final product of a co-production between me, the Binaural Association and the video participants. A collaborative visual multimethod was carried out with 11 participants who, during the shootings, lived in Carvalhal de Vermilhas, Portugal. The method comprised the following stages: 1) a group of individual stories/narratives about the place and their identity was collected and video-taped; 2) the selected participants watched individually their own short videos to attest its accuracy and share their feelings and impressions about it (film-elucidation); 3) a focus group activity with all participants dived into two groups, who watched the composite film (all the stories were put together by the researcher and the Binaural association). Afterwards the participants reflected and discussed questions about place attachment and place shaping agency.

Participants were selected based on the theoretical concept of Place Ambassadors who, based on the literature review, I understand as a group of internal stakeholders with strong connections to their place, gather either formally or informally, with the main aim of developing  their territory both socially, culturally, environmentally and economically by means of its external promotion. The documentary has shown to academic and non-academic partners of the SUSPLACE project. This activity was just a first step and hopefully we will disseminate it to larger audiences like you, who are welcome to share it. I know you are already curious about it but here are some comments to whet your appetite:

“I think I shared everyone’s feeling that the video spoke more to sense of place than any of our theoretical work could.”

“It was moving and powerful both for us as visitors and for the local people themselves.  It was also beautifully but simply constructed”

“I enjoyed the documentary a lot and I noticed that it quit touched me!  I found it very strong to have the faces of the people constantly in the picture on the left, it really somehow showed their humanity and vulnerability, in combination with their story narrating.”

“Generally, I thought it was great. It captured some sort of authenticity that I think pictures and writing cannot fully convey.”

Many thanks to Cátia, Luis & the Binaural team and all the villagers for sharing their stories and songs with us!