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Some members of the AZ Labs community have been gathering in artistic residency in Guimarães once more, the topic for this residency is Creative Politics, meaning to come up ideas and projects connecting the citizens back with the political system. Complaining is easy, presenting solutions is harder. Citizens feel disconnected with politics and disengage themselves from these issues. We are trying to counter that with artistic or otherwise useful projects and proposals.

During the first weekend we had running at LCD a parallel event named Antropocode, part of the Atlantic Arc Summer of Labs 2012. During the weekend over a dozen artists and hackers from Portugal and Spain were gathered developing concepts and projects in a hackaton about the borderline of body and technology. Some of the projects were also related to the creative politics theme.

The hackaton is now over but the Creative Politics artistic residency continues with a dozen other folks, mostly folks from Portugal but also including some foreigners. The first days have been focused on brainstorming project ideas. You can find more information on our wiki.

Some examples of projects currently being developed:

  • Reclaiming Data
    Research and documentation of open data initiatives in Portugal, the end goal is to develop a viral video calling for more active participation and involvement from the citizens or a webtool to request missing data.
  • Hacking Urban Resources
    Research and documentation of ways to hack urban resources to improve the way of life at a local level in Guimarães, bringing back the control of the city to the citizens. A sample book on how to re-appropriate, re-use local resources and also on how to re-learn useful old skills.
  • Political Manager
    A web based game where you play the role of a rising politician and have to improve your skills to build your career without succumbing to the pressures of the dark side.
  • Comparative News
    The goal of this project is to help citizens understand the trends and tendencies in the political discourse that the media present to them everyday. The strategy is to compare different sources of information, like newspapers, radio and television using data visualization. The intuition behind this project is that comparing sources enable people to see the big picture, to identify what’s important and what’s not.