From October 8th to 12th, we had the ending of a two year Brazilian project called Africa-Brasil Dialogs. It is a platform for the exchange of social innovation experiences from Brazil and some African countries (South Africa, Uganda, Botswana, Morocco and Kenya). The main goal is to connect initiatives from these areas , possibly for future cooperation and new developments. It is an important step to connect and integrate cultures and perspectives.
From this project, the cooperation between Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and five African universities, was formalized. The event included a presentation of two museums concepts – Museu do Amanhā (Museum of Tomorrow, from Rio) and MoDILA (project presented by the architect Mokena Makeka, from South Africa), which have similar goals -; a visit to Cidade do Samba (City of Samba) to see a champion samba school; a visit to Complexo da Maré (Maré Complex, a big group of favelas, near international airport of Rio), and other actitivies.
It was a great experience to meet people from other countries and to know that Brazil and Africa have very similar issues and challenges to solve. The initiatives have in common the social perception of the problems, the necessity to respect the locality and its cultural diversity. This project is not a typical academic one, but tried to be more open to other experiences outside university and produced videos as final products, instead of only written material.
The hope is that from now on these new contacts establish dialogue to sprout good ideas in both continents. Find out more about this project over here.
Picture: Flávia Mattos