Inês Santos Moura’s online PhD defense takes place on the 24th March, at 10 a.m., with the topic Not an ilha”: participatory methodologies in the creation of a Web documentary with the community of Herculano neighborhood | Não é uma ilha”: metodologias participativas na criação de um Web documentário com a comunidade do Bairro Herculano.

Inês Santos Moura is a student of the PhD programme in Information and Communication in Digital Platforms and her supervisor is Vania Baldi (DigiMedia, UA).

DigiMedia members are invited to  participate in this important moment.


This research aims to promote reflection and debate on participatory audiovisual methodologies, namely photo elicitation and participatory video, as strategies for research and analysis of the social and housing context of the community of Bairro Herculano. Simultaneously, it proposes an analysis about the potentialities of these participatory and collaborative practices as resources promoting citizen participation. Focusing on the “ilha” Bairro Herculano neighborhood, located in the city center of Porto, it was initially sought to understand perceptions produced in relation to the notion of “ilha”, an expression used to describe a complex of small houses built in Porto, in the last years of the 19th century, to house the working class. Through the aid of digital technologies and public initiatives, contexts of visibility for the community were provided, making the inhabitants “actors” and protagonists of the audiovisual representation of their reality. The photographic objects provided by the participants allowed for analyses of biographical and social dimensions, which revealed stories, identities, and architectures of the Herculano community and its socialization dynamics. In this way, stories of the past that are generally marginalized and/or hidden by public discourse were documented, stimulating their possible rescue for the present and the future of the place and its inhabitants. With this, we also tried to analyze and identify the need and intention of the participant group in documenting and presenting possible proposals for improvement regarding their housing and social reality. The uses of these participatory methodologies by the research group allowed the production of multimedia content towards the conception of a Web documentary, composed of nine video-narratives, six photo-interviews and a photographic archive about this community. The participatory methodologies mobilized also made it possible to deepen the knowledge about the social reality and the housing conditions of this neighborhood, as well as to record and collect reflections and concerns related to the present and the future of this community. The research process is rooted in the collaboration between the researcher and the inhabitants and it has two dimensions: the creation of different perspectives concerning Bairro Herculano as one of the oldest neighborhoods of Porto; and the active participation of its inhabitants in the creative process, sharing experiences and generating knowledge.

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More information available HERE