Aldeias de Magaio is another collection of villages in Portugal’s centro region, like the Schist Villages, that are in the process of being transformed into spaces where visitors can learn about the rural life. These villages are in a prime position for visitors to Portugal, they’re within the triangle of compelling tourist destinations consisting of the cities of Porto, Coimbra and Viseu.
The challenge today to these isolated villages is to be an active part of a development model that considers the landscape (natural and rural) and indigenous culture as a priceless heritage and endowed with economic value that can be tapped and reversed for whom centuries take care of this heritage, or are the rural communities themselves.
In other words, in these fertile and remote villages are the basis for the production of good food along with a host of other interesting aspects of cultural heritage including crafts, fairs and festivals. As indigenous folks leave, the depopulation can be reversed by introducing a community of artists who work alongside tourists and other interested parties interested in learning about these crafts and about the rural manner of food production.
The hub this model seems to revolve around is the Binaoral Nodar group of sound artists in the village of Nodar who have an interesting page in excellent English on the history of the village.
Binaural is a Portuguese non-profit Cultural Organization founded in 2004 with the aim of promoting the exploration and research in sound / visual and new media arts, focusing on the crossing of media and languages and on the articulation between the artistic production and the surrounding context, particularly through its activities in the rural space of Nodar.
Artists can apply for residency and workshops; check out Binaural Nodar for current offerings.
This is an exciting project I’m just learning about, so check back for more. Here are some resources, amazingly, all with English pages:
The Aldeias de Magaio Blog is an interesting look into the public activities available in the villages.