Paralelo Feedback & Beyond

How was Paralelo was for you?

Please share thoughts on process and on outputs.

How might it be taken forward?

What might be learnt? Any thoughts on ways to improve any future events?

Have you any research ideas or possible projects for future development emerging from the period in Sao Paulo? How might these be further developed?


thanks….muito obrigada…..dank u…….


From Mike

Please come to our Climate for Change Symposium:
UNsustainable UNconference (9 May 2009, 12.00pm, free admission at FACT relies on the knowledge of its audience-participants as the core programme.

A Manifesto for Change

An unconference is a participant driven face-to-face conference that sets its own agenda and facilities inclusive debate.

The UNsustainable UNconference comes out of FACT's response to Liverpool's Year of Environment, and the urgent need to have a forum to advance the ecology and dialogue around the sustainability of society. Held alongside our first project that explores this question, Climate for Change, the UNconference invites communities of interest who have been engaged in this project and who are operating through self-organising networks and alternative models of both capital and cultural production.

During the course of the debate the participants will generate a Manifesto for Change; drafted by multiple authors, looking at envisaging and identifying the principles to adhere to, to live in a more sustainable world. A People's Plan rather than a Master Plan.

There will be invited experts, consultants who are participating in civic discourse on social change and climate change and all are are invited to contribute.
Further details updated here:

From Gisela

Hi all

Perhaps I've sounded quite baroque when stressing in my previous emails the importance of form for a sharing knowledge event such as Paralelo. Well, I do believe specific architectures of space entails different perceptual regimes..

On another note, it's also interesting to highlight how diverse was Paralelo's curatorial choices, gathering so many distinct agendas. I understand this may also have represented a problem at some point, it's easier to go deep when we are all speaking the same "language", and we all have the same jokes! However, I believe the diversity of agendas enables a certain ecology of ideas, which is vital for interdisciplinary collaborations.


From Angela

Dear Paralelo participants!

I decided to place my impressions about Paralelo event and I suppose they are

particular ones for I was part of the organizing team and only participated at the

sessions opened to the public.

Once Roberta sent me the project I immediately decided to collaborate and correspond

to BC´s request of holding the event and establishing a partnership for I truly believed on the

purposes and on the group coming.

The work was quite stressing sometimes for we were a team working from 3 different

countries and we had very short time to have everything done.

That´s what I call a “really collaborative” event and we really experienced the good and bad sides

of working that way. But what really counts is the fact that we all wanted the event to

happen and it became real !

As for the diffusion I was quite surprised to see the materials that were in papers and online

despite the fact that it was a mostly closed event and that we received the confirmed program

only a week before the opening; we usually work with a month before the opening.

For those interested, we can send it.

About the event itself:

I would like to thank all participants for their collaboration and the will of sharing ideas, different

cultures, languages and time.

As for the public sessions, I do agree with Tapio, we could have small groups communicating

common subjects previously discussed within the closed sessions. That way I suppose we would

have deeper discussions with the public.

However, for me this experience at the public meetings was really interesting for I had a chance

to see what artists, researches, professors and others are doing abroad. It´s a good way of having

a reference regarding the subjects worked.

I do think you should have a longer event next time (maybe two more days) so people could go

around and check others places of their interest.

The idea of being closed in a nature place sounds quite nice but I do think that being where people are,

where daily life happens and within the chaos this city is with all its contrast, is a good place to experience.

And the experiences, questions, concerns and doubts must to be spread and communicated to as much people

as possible. Otherwise, doesn´t make sense to me to have all this effort, researches, production, etc…

without communication.

To end it, I was really happy to have the group here, to meet some special people and to see what´s going

on. Thank you all again. I think the event was very successful ! Congratulations!

Assessora Projetos Internacionais
International Projects Advise
T 55 11 2117- 4777 r.308

From Gisela and Tapio to List

I agree with Tapio with regards to the open-space language style. I like the idea of discussion session titles and don't think this needs to be necessarily connected to the open-space set of rules.. I also think the conditional design workshop was a fun and relaxing way to create a group narrative/ language. Practical workshops as optional activities are, in my opinion, a good way to uplift the ideas of people.

best, Gisela

On Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 2:25 AM, Tapio Makela <ten.lacolsnart|oipat#ten.lacolsnart|oipat> wrote:


One of the things that both Annette and I took up before the event started was that with a diverse group one should pay special attention to how open space sessions are moderated. To get the dynamism that format has at its best, lots and lots of group session titles needs to emerge so that the large group can break into motivated sessions with less people, but with focussed set of shared interests. There were great moments in the smaller groups that did emerge, but by generating more momentum and using this method for what it is good for, we would have had more of them. Also the better the participants know each other on a social + professional level before an Open Space method is introduced, the more it becomes a dialogue about given topics, less presenting who participants are and what they do. I suppose this is just a note for possible future events in this series… and a setting in nature with isolation helps a lot to set a stage for group work like this.
Open Space has become a bit of a buzz word for a contemporary meeting, but it is not necessarily always the path to take. Its' language and set of rules sometimes has a tone to it that sits somewhere between a corporate HR office and a kindergarten, neither of which never helps to set off critical artistic dialogue. I think we do need a new form of social software that is playful but also semantic, offering ways to figure things about group meetings IRL in advance a bit more and to keep the dialogue going post departure. Or the old fashioned way, a structure with preselected moderators who talk to the people before and after. :) This said, the overall experience of Paralelo was very positive, and a number of new conversations emerged and keep going. I very much look forward to the next opportunity to come back to Brazil and Sao Paolo - since when are mega cities so friendly and welcoming?
bestest, from Manchester en route to visit Helsinki,

From Rachel and Matt to List
2009/4/12 rachel <ten.ia-ma-i|lehcaR#ten.ia-ma-i|lehcaR>
Hi everyone
I have just got back from Sao Paulo and had a wonderful time, thanks to
everyone for the amazing Paralelo week, it was also great start to our
time in the Mata Atlantica and has given me tons to think about.
Will be great to keep in touch with people and I am keen to follow up the possible collaborations and discussions we had.
Me and Matt's blog is on
and I have added my pictures to my flickr account:
Best wishes

From Katherine to Bronac:

''I wanted to write and follow-up on my experience of Paralelo. First of all, I would like to say that it was and continues to be an amazing and valuable experience for me and for the others with whom I have continued to exchange ideas. I wanted to relate a couple of ideas to you, observations that I had, as a reflection on the process and experience that could possibly serve for the future.

What I found to be the greatest impediment to the exchange and encounter of people and ideas seemed to be the cultural differences between the at least two if not more contexts (Europe + Brasil + etc.) As we discussed in our group - to have ways to make encounters beyond culture and language, I think that the Conditional Design workshop as well as the spontaneous Tai Chi morning - helped move people beyond these difficulties and to make a real common ground. Thus, I think it would have been excellent to have had such encounters in the beginning, rather than the end, as it was stimulating and flying at the same time, leaving people to want to put their feet back on the ground. It was also a trust building experience that was very good.

I have continued already conversations with several and with Camila included. We are planning to make a post of our conversation and ask for other responses. It was a conversation started during the event.

With each passing day I appreciate more and more the encounter and believe that it was valuable, well done, and more than anything it involved wonderful people. Thank you again for having included me, and if you feel that it is at all valuable, feel free to share my thoughts with anyone you feel necessary.

Also from Katherine;

One thing I meant to specify about the cultural differences and responses were things such as: the brazilians thinking the EUs were structure maniacs and the EUs thought the brazilians could never get to the point. As I said, I think a common ground could have aleviated a part of the stress these differences caused. One more thing I heard on the side of the brazilians as a critica, was that they (brazilinas) were missing the opportunity to really go deep into a discussion with the whole group, or something along those lines. I think this has to do with the fact that they meet in groups alllllll the time, and would have hoped the structure would have allowed more depth.

I understand how challenging it is to design such an event, and again appreciate all the efforts, but wanted to pass on these things (even though they are partly contradictory…).

From Rejane:

Thanks - once more - for such an unforgettable event - perfect, perfect, perfect!!!!!

From Bronac

while waiting at the airport in Sao Paulo I got talking to a chap whose friends are living and working in Rio, developing the new subway for the city. He said it beats bringing McDonalds there. I think he was joking - but they are all North American/Canadian. They've got the tender to develop it. I wonder if I should have got his card.

Any room for paraleloprojects on Rio's new subway?

I think there is still much to discuss, to learn and share. I was wondering if everyone might be willing to put a picture of themselves up on the wiki alongside the bios…it seems like it would be nicer to remember faces …if you send me the images I can upload. Just a head shot is fine:-)

By a nice and bizarre coincidence I met someone today in London (who works in the local hairdressers) who is French but now living and working most of the time in Rio where he has bought a house with his partner who turns out to be an actor. They're both involved with a favela called Favela Vidigal, Nos do Morro…..where they're doing classes and spending time with the people living there…teaching hairdressing, theatre stuff etc….

There's stuff online at

and they'd love to hear more about Ivan's project and Rejane's project……so on it goes:-)

Quick update from Bronac on this. ….I have subsequently heard from Ivan who is going to speak to and meet with Orlando from the Favela Vidigal Nos do Morro project and Ivan's collaborator, Silvia and I will be meeting with Christophe here in London to see if a connection can be made with between the Van project and other work ongoing in the other favela. Rombout and I are meeting with other RCA colleagues to see if they wish to be involved in some of the projects in Brasil - with Ivan, with others in Sao Paulo…..and there is already considerable enthusiasm. The Sao Paulo project ideas were stimulated by a lunch meeting with Giselle Beiglemann which Rachel Matt and I had just after paralelo ended before they went to the forest! We also hope to meet with Dominic soon to discuss how best to take links between RCA, MRL and various collaborators in Brasil forward)

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License