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Peripheral Creativities: youth, arts and public policies in segregated territories

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Abstract: The young people from the urban outskirts have been represented by the media through the imagery of apathy, incivility and delinquency. Preconceived ideas about the territories in which these young people live negatively influence their future prospects and their relationship with the city, having the effect of segregating them, particularly in the case of people of African descent. Nevertheless, the growing importance of arts and cultural production of that youth is providing new visibility capable of subverting stereotypes and affirming positive identities about themselves and their territories. The power of these creative practices was noted by the state agencies, which started to mobilize them for the purpose of social inclusion in the context of promoting a new generation of more participatory public policies. In a scenario of economic crisis, social exclusion and lack of opportunities for youth emancipation, aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative to understand how creativity is mobilized by young people from segregated territories, as well as what their influence is on the redefinition of urban policies targeting them. PERICREATIVITY is a project that aims to examine the creativity of young people in the segregated territories of the two largest Portuguese cities, Lisbon and Porto, in which their artistic expressions are as much a means of making sense to their lives and creating alternative professional paths as a resource for social inclusion. We propose a study of the creativity and arts of young people from underprivileged territories as two dynamic elements that feed each other and should be framed in a new episteme, influencing subjectivities and political strategies. The creative dynamics linked to the artistic expression of ‘peripheral’ young people are increasingly appropriate by public policies stimulating local development, citizen participation and social inclusion. This is the case of the ‘Programa Escolhas’ (Choices Programme) and a set of institutionalized interventions of street art in Portugal. The purpose of focusing on these policies is to analyse how creative practices of an artistic nature are incorporated as new devices of community agency and governmentality in underprivileged territories. PERICREATIVITY will be an excellent opportunity to identify, analyse, understand and assess the effectiveness and emancipatory potential of creative practices developed by young people from segregated territories of Lisbon and Porto, taking four marginalized neighbourhoods as case studies: Quinta do Mocho, Cova da Moura, Quinta da Princesa (Lisbon) and Cerco (Porto). From a qualitative methodological approach, the project will (i)identify and map the arts and cultural productions of young people, namely individual and collective projects linked to languages that are familiar to them (rap, graffiti, dance); (ii)analyse how young people mobilize creativity to develop alternative professional careers and challenge precariousness, as well as understand its influence on subjectivities and life paths; (iii)understand how young people’s creative practices are framed by public policies for local development, citizen participation and social inclusion; (iv)and Work plan Abstract 10/28 assess these policies so as to propose recommendations to stimulate youth emancipation and fight against social marginalization, urban segregation and social inequalities. In terms of methodology, the qualitative approach of this project will involve a multi-sited ethnography, with participant observation, in-depth interviews and visual and participatory methodologies. To this end, a multidisciplinary team has been formed with long experience in conducting both theoretical and empirical research in the fields of urban studies, youth culture, arts & creativity, and public policies. PERICREATIVITY is formed by the core members of one consolidated research group (ARTCITIZENSHIP) and three international research networks (ETNO.URB, ENO and LXNIGHTS), whose scientific productions reveal a consolidated dialogue between members. The design of a grid to analyse the relationship between the creativity of young people and the public policies addressing them is the key innovation of this project, which will identify the impacts, challenges and opportunities of creative practices of an artistic nature in youth emancipation. This project is strongly committed to proposing recommendations for more inclusive public policies aimed at young people from marginalized territories, contributing to the goals of the 2030 Agenda. This contribution will be made mainly in the form of two books: a policy-oriented book addressing the Portuguese scenario and another book from an international perspective. PERICREATIVITY will represent a significant step forward in youth policies in Portugal and worldwide, bringing positive impacts for a new generation of intersectional and participatory policies oriented to guarantee the full (and effective) right to the city.

Reference: 2022.08993.PTDC

End beneficiaries/target population: Youth, mainly those who reside in urban peripheries and segregated urban territories.

Timeline: March 2023-March 2026.

Coordination: Otávio Raposo (ISCTE-IUL; CIES-IUL) is the project's Principal Investigator (PI); Lígia Ferro (FLUP; IS-UP) is the Co-Principal Investigator (CO_PI).

Other researchers: Alix Didier Sarrouy, Beatriz Lacerda, Carla Malafaia, Jordi Nofre, João Teixeira Lopes, Leonor Medon, Liliana José Moreira, Pedro Abrantes, Ricardo Campos, Rita Cachado, Teresa Seabra.

External Coordinator

Otávio Raposo

Coordinator; Principal Investigator
ISCTE - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa - Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia, CIES-IUL (Instituição proponente)
Universidade do Porto - Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto - Instituto de Sociologia (Instituição parceira)
Universidade Nova de Lisboa - Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas - Centro Interdisciplinar de Ciências Sociais (instituição participante)
Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Instituto de Etnomusicologia - Centro de Estudos em Música e Dança (instituição participante)
Universidade do Porto - FPCEUP - Centro de Investigação e Intervenção Educativas (CIIE) (instituição participante))
Entidade de Financiamento
Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) - Concurso de Projetos de I&D em Todos os Domínios Científicos (2022)
Global Amount:
IS-UP Amount:
Start Year


Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto
Via Panorâmica, s/n
4150-564 Porto, Portugal

Phone: +351 226 077 132


Other Contacts




Ref. UIDP/00727/2020

Ref. UIDB/00727/2020