Rural Revival – Inside Out Project

What is the Rural Revival – Inside Out Project

At the beginning of June this year, we proposed to our social media manager, Andreea, that is an excellent idea to get involved in this “Inside Out” project.

What is this exactly?

Inside Out is a global participatory art project initiated by the French photographer JR.

After winning the TED prize in 2011, JR expressed his wish to “change the world” by turning it ‘inside out’. So, with the $100,000 from the TED Prize, JR set about achieving this by giving the power of representation back to the people.

The project, inspired by JR’s large-format street pastings, is open to anyone to participate anywhere in the world. The idea is to emphasize the people and their stories behind each action or cause. Apart from printing portraits, participants have complete control of the creative process. (Taking their pictures) and the pasting process (the installation of the posters). 

Using strictly black-and-white portraits, these are printed and then pasted into an exterior space. Each group action can make a statement in the form of public artwork and share its message with the rest of the world.

Why was Anceu Coliving involved in this photographic art project?

We wanted to do something for the community when we started considering getting involved in this project. So the Rural Revival idea was born with the desire to Act locally and have an impact Globally.

We came up with the idea of Rural Revival because we want to focus on revitalising rural areas. We aim to contribute to the transformation that rural areas need, providing solutions to the existence of regions depopulated with less and less activity and fewer support networks.

Specifically in Spain, 48% of current municipalities have a population density of fewer than 12.5 inhabitants per square kilometre above what the European Union considers density low. Moreover, from 2011 to 2017, almost 62% of Spanish towns lost inhabitants, according to data from the Government Commissioner for the Demographic Challenge.

The rural areas offer endless possibilities and a better quality of life, as demonstrated after the crisis resulting from covid 19. Some data is highlight here:

  1. The average cost of living in rural areas continues to be lower than the cost of living in overcrowded urban environments.
  2. Access to the network opens the door to a decentralized educational world. Of course, there is still a long way to go, but many towns already have 4G or fibre-optic connections. 

How was Anceu Coliving involved in this photographic art project?

First, we had to think of an idea worth spreading.

Then, we had to write the speech for the Inside Out Project so they would accept our proposal.

Said and done. After one week of writing the proposal and conversing with them on the phone, they approved our proposal.

We then spoke with the mayor of Ponte Caldelas to see if he would approve of pasting our posters in the city on the public walls.

The next step was to take at least 50 portraits within the local community from Anceu Village and Ponte Caldelas, including our Anceu colivers.

We made two open calls for people to come and join our art movement. The first meeting was here, in Anceu Coliving, for one day. We had people coming to support our initiative and get to know the place. Unfortunately, since we opened last year, we didn’t have the chance to have this place open for everybody. Still, this calling for people to come and take portraits for the project was an excellent opportunity to discover the area.

The second call was for the people of Ponte Caldelas, and the mayor offered us the public library space there. He supported our idea and helped us with the necessary material to paste the posters once they arrived.

It took almost two months for this project to come to life.

We took 80 portraits with the local people here, and when they arrived, we started pasting. The moment when we were pasting the portraits on the public city’s walls, people came to us and asked us what is this about, so they found out about Anceu Coliving and our Rural Revival initiatives. 

This action was essential because we wanted to establish a dialogue between rural and urban. Also, to bring awareness of the reality of rural areas that can create sustainable connections with urban areas.

Thanks to the campaign, we will build networks and connections from the countryside to the world.

Rural Revival – Inside Out Project – While pasting the photos​ and the final result

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