A selection of community stories and memories told in the first person
Our collaboration with the ‘Histórias de Vida’ project and the libraries of Oeiras began in 2015.com o projeto Histórias de Vida.
At first, the Algés Municipal Library began collecting and recording the life stories of people born before 1955. Testimonies were shared with the aim of preserving and revitalizing individual and social memory, while also enhancing the self-esteem, sense of community belonging, and exercise of citizenship among the participants.
Later, with our collaboration, digital technologies were integrated into this memory project, and life stories began to take on a multimedia and digital format. The first-person accounts transformed into short stories – small films and audio recordings created in close collaboration between storytellers and facilitators, open to different perspectives and increasingly involving new protagonists.
In the project’s second phase, Media Shots coordinated the project. We worked with “ambassadors” from the generation born before ’55 to collect testimonials and memories of the municipality, guiding collection actions in partnership with local institutions and associations.
The online availability of some of these narratives on the website built by Media Shots facilitates their access and sharing, ensuring that this intangible heritage remains alive, inspiring, and present.
A few testimonials
The project “Histórias de Vida’ project stems from the desire to engage the community with the public library, to reach out to a growing segment of the public for which it is important to find innovative ways to promote citizen participation, group dynamics, and combat loneliness, while also focusing on preserving and revitalizing collective memory, reinforcing the role that public libraries can and should assume in this regard.
Ana Gomes dos Santos, librarian
I was very pleased to participate. I believe that it is very important for people to be able to return to their roots, to their memories, and to promote spaces of sharing like these, where older individuals can receive attention and feel integrated.
I would like to highlight the involvement of the school and the younger generations in this project, which further enhanced the richness of the older generation’s experiences. The digital dimension of the project, which allows for broad dissemination, complements the idea very well.
I greatly enjoyed participating in this project. Despite living in Algés my entire life, I learned many new things I didn’t know through the stories of others. I hope the idea continues to grow.
I recalled episodes I had long forgotten and exchanged ideas with other group members. We all shared various life experiences. In addition to all of this, we made friendships.
Maria Amélia Teixeira
In June, we concluded the first part of the ‘Histórias de Vida’ project, but the truth is, we are only starting now.
Ana Paula Torres
These were meetings where we felt free and relaxed, and where the library room, housed in a beautiful old building full of history, became the stage for sharing memories, with a diversity of experiences and emotions that will not be forgotten.
Maria Sam Pedro
I think that the circumstantiality of our group stories can make a minimal contribution to great history, or at the very least, and more modestly, to local history.
I hope that these records are a breath of moonlight for all those who want to know what it was like…