Artistic residency helps to recover the art of working sugarcane in Alcoutim

This is yet another initiative by Cooperativa QRER around ancestral techniques of working sugarcane

Two designers and many other artisans will be the protagonists of the Creative Residency in Traditional Arts – Cana, which will take place from the 4th to the 8th of October, in Alcoutim, and will continue the work of Cooperativa QRER to recover the ancestral techniques of working with this raw material.

The initiative, which has been in preparation for weeks, will be curated by designer Hugo da Silva (Hugo da Silva Design Studio) and product designers Ana Rita Contente and Ricardo Desirat (Sugo Design), as well as artisans Ana Silva and José Vitorino, the latter only in technical sessions.

The idea is that, in the end, “a collection of viable products for commercialization can be created, but also products for reproduction in educational and recreational-pedagogical activities or in creative tourism experiences, in order to establish sugarcane simultaneously as a material of choice with historical roots and prospects for the future in the municipality of Alcoutim», according to QRER – Cooperative for the Development of Low Density Territories.

In this way, those interested in learning how to execute the products developed in the first days of the residency can participate in a training open to the public, on the 7th and 8th of October.

The training integrates the components of raw material treatment, product explanation and practical and interactive teaching of their execution. It takes place between 9:30 am and 17:30 pm in the future creative sugarcane workshop, located in Alcoutim Castle.

Participation is free, but registration is mandatory and subject to the existing limit of vacancies. Interested parties may consult the conditions of participation and subscribe here. For further information, contact [email protected].

QRER, within the scope of the programming of QRIAR – Incubadora Criativa do Algarve, had already promoted two courses in Alcoutim on “Transmission of Master-Apprentice Knowledge”, one in 2020, in introduction to the art of working sugarcane, and a second, about a year ago, of “Sustainable Sugarcane Architecture and Coatings”.

From these two initiatives came the project to create a creative workshop with a space for interpretation and experimentation dedicated to sugarcane.

Next week's residency will be another activity «with the aim of stimulating the use of sugarcane as a raw material with potential for new uses in the field of craft work, valuing it as a local resource of economic interest».

«With this action, we seek to actively contribute to avoid forgetting the ancestral art of working with cane and recover some of its old dynamics, through the materialization of new handicrafts of a playful nature, linked to memories of the past or even of more contemporary nature», explains the cooperative.

QRIAR – Incubadora Criativa do Algarve, where the Artist Residency is located, is promoted within the scope of the Magallanes_ICC project and consists of an articulated network of incubation spaces in the interior of the Algarve, in particular in the municipality of Alcoutim and in the municipality of Loulé, with the objective of to promote cultural and creative industries, support the development of initiatives to promote traditional arts and crafts and creative tourism.

It will also be part of the Centro Magallanes” of Emprendimiento de Industrias Culturales y Creativas, which includes other partners of Magallanes_ICC.

Magallanes_ICC is a cross-border cooperation project, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), through the Interreg VA España-Portugal Program (POCTEP) 2014-2020, with the partnership of Alcoutim City Council, Municipality of Loulé, Union of Parishes of Querença, Tôr and Benafim and Parish Council of Alte.