Constança Saraiva

artistiek onderzoek - sociaal-maatschappelijk

I am a visual artist, researcher, designer, and mother living in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Since 2010 I have been developing socially engaged and community art projects that unfold in different mediums - one of which, and my preferred - the book. Besides my own editorial projects, I collaborate and am commissioned by organizations, institutions, artists, and researchers on their publications for editing, book concept, content management, and editorial design. I like to think of publications as poetic archives of a certain theme, project, or person - objects that allow not only documentation but also storytelling and inspiration.

Worden Dromen Oud? - An intergenerational meeting made for the series of picnics by Weronika Zielinska for the Join In! initiative by Museum van Bommel van Dam in Venlo, The Netherlands. The meeting took part in the park of the museum where participants were asked to work in pairs. Having as a basis an envelope with questions about dreams (goals), the project aimed to trigger a reflection on how can two different generations learn from each other on how to not give up their dreams. The collected material of the meeting was later shown in a small exhibition in the museum.
Video about project “A Little Country Across the Ocean” - This artistic and educational project was developed with more than two hundred students of Portuguese language schools in the states of New York and New Jersey, in the United States of America. It aimed to: - Explore the Portuguese memory and heritage in New York and New Jersey; - To strengthen the Portuguese identity among the younger generation; - Promote intergenerational relationships within Portuguese families; - Promote Portuguese identity and memory in the USA; - To inform the general public in New York about the Portuguese immigration history, Portugal and its culture; he project unfolded in three phases: 1) the “Notebook of the 14 Questions about Portugal” – an activity booklet about Portugal sent to the students 2) The participation in Portugal in Soho festival - where the results of the notebook were presented, where we met the children personally and many other activities for Portuguese-American families were developed. 3) A book, which finalizes the project – an edition of the written and drawn material by the Portuguese-American children and that seeks to show their perspective on their Portuguese origins.
Community Art — A Poetic Archive on Aging - This book is the result of project House/Archive, — an art residency in a daycare centre in the neighbourhood of Sé, in Lisbon. House/Archive was a case study for the thesis developed within the MA in Museology at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Lisbon, completed in 2012, the content of which is reproduced here. It is the starting point of an investigation of what is Community Art and about the issues of aging, the value that is given to it and its curious connection with childhood. The study of project House/Archive shows that the research on a community is essential to achieve a level of intimacy with their social, historical and human context, proving the importance and consequences of this method in the artistic process of those who work with communities. The necessity for documentation of these art practices leads to the construction of an archive formed by the remains of the artistic process. This singular way of archiving and of constituting an archive leads to the concept of Poetic Archive.
video about project “Inside Out or The Countries We Carry” - (subtitled in English)
Book “Readings on Economy Under Sea Level” - Readings on Economy Below Sea Level presents a preface by the economist Prof. João César das Neves (the author of the book that was read), a photo essay by Pedro dos Reis, an article by economists Nuno Camacho (PhD) and Diogo Gonçalves (PhD), an excerpt on reading groups by Maiko Tanaka and a poster with annotations from the reading sessions. Editing Constança Saraiva & Patrícia Pinheiro de Sousa Graphic Design Constança Saraiva, Patrícia Pinheiro de Sousa & Yin Yin Wong Texts Constança Saraiva, Patrícia Pinheiro de Sousa, João César das Neves, Nuno Camacho, Diogo Gonçalves, Pedro dos Reis & Maiko Tanaka Languages English and Portuguese English Proofreading Arielle Fenton Size 13x19cm, 47 pp., softcover Printing Publication Studio Rotterdam Published by Publication Studio Rotterdam ISBN 978-94-92308-11-5
Readings on Economy Below Sea Level - Over the course of two years, a group of Portuguese people in Rotterdam held meetings to read together. The ambition of these meetings was to discuss and better understand the socio-economic situation in Portugal. This project was initiated by the artists Constança Saraiva and Patrícia Pinheiro de Sousa. To conclude the reading group they commissioned texts and photographs, edited and produced the publication Readings on Economy Below Sea Level. Unfolding different perspectives on the topic it celebrates the multifaceted act of reading collectively.
Book “A Little Country Across the Ocean” - This book is the end result of the project "A Little Country Across the Ocean – an edition of the written and drawn material by Portuguese-American children that seek to show their perspective on their Portuguese origins. Concept and Editorial Design Constança Saraiva Texts Constança Saraiva Ana Miranda Constança Vilela Pedro Pires Teresa Pires Gilberto Fernandes Fotografias Photographs p.6 - p.14 Pedro Pires Proofreading Patrícia Pinheiro de Sousa Published by Arte Institute Lisboa New York 2017 Size 14,8 x 21cm/5,8 x 8,3 in Page number 106 Poster 42 x 59,4 cm/16.5 x 23.4 in ISBN 978-989-20-7448-1
Conversas Rotterdam - Conversas is a project initiated by Constança Saraiva and Mafalda Fernandes in Lisbon, in 2012. They are a series of informal meetings made so that we can get to know and discuss projects and interests. In these evenings, three Conversadores (those who talk at Conversas) present their projects or interests for thirty minutes each. The dialogue flows natural and informally, calling for uncompromised and genuine participation. Meanwhile, Constança Saraiva initiated the project in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in 2014, and from there the model of the Conversas has spread. Nowadays, it's a project of many other people and cities. You can see all Conversas happening in different countries here:
Who are the Portuguese from Soho? - Who are the Portuguese from Soho? Research → Installation → Book (currently being translated) Arte Institute commissioned me to develop the concept and design a book on the Portuguese from Soho — a disappearing community of Portuguese immigrants that settled in the Soho, in New York in the 1960s. This publication aims to add information, give visibility and present a more comprehensive perspective on this community. The book will present their story while reflecting on the issues of immigration, assimilation and longing. I was in New York for a period of artistic research in 2018 – I met members of the community and investigated in local public archives the history of the Portuguese community in the Soho. Additionally, for the “Portugal in Soho” event, the artist I created a participatory installation where the public was able to contribute their stories, memories and photographs and collectively map the “Portuguese stories from Soho”. This project was made possible with the kind support of CBK Rotterdam.
Biblioteca Infantil Roterdão - Biblioteca Infantil Roterdão is a Portuguese children's’ library based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It was created in 2016 by Andreia Costa, Constança Saraiva, and Patrícia Pinheiro de Sousa, having Diana Dinis joining the team officially in 2018. Besides this team of Portuguese women in Rotterdam, the project counts with the help and support of many friends, volunteers, and institutions (i.e. Arte Institute and Instituto Camões). The mission of Biblioteca Infantil Roterdão is to bring the Portuguese speaking families in Rotterdam together (Portuguese, Cape-Verdean, Angolan, etc.), facilitate children’s books in Portuguese for those families, and help promote the Portuguese language to anyone interested. BIR organizes monthly storytelling sessions open to all and provides around 300 Portuguese children’s books donated by publishers and families. It also published two children’s books, and is, since November 2018 a foundation! For more info (in Portuguese, mostly) on the events and project please go to: