Training Course

Windows of the Soul and Mirrors of the World: photography and reflections on viewing

January 7 to 21, 2019

CES | Alta and CES | Sofia


There is what we do not want to see or what we can not look at. Thus, we make invisible what we can not look at. There is no axiological neutrality in our view. We only look at what is appropriate for us to see, which is in tune with our view of the world. In this way, we look at the world through a mirror. The reflection in a mirror is by no means what it seems to be. This is the metaphor of the world we look at.

In this sense, this Course aims to enhance and expand the participants' viewpoint through creative activities, reflections, photographic practice and reading of images, in 7 (seven) Meetings. The view is, at the same time, getting out of yourself and bringing yourself into the world. The idea is to understand how we look at and rethink how we produce senses in relation to what we photograph. Based on the reflection of the concepts of "sociology of absences and emergencies" and "ecology of knowledges", by the sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santos, this course proposes to the participants to produce photographs and to carry out readings of the photographic images as a possible methodology for the process of translation of knowledges, in its multiple artistic, linguistic, philosophical, political and sociological dimensions, with an interdisciplinary approach to transdisciplinary studies.

The course will deal with concepts transversal to Photography, through various lenses, such as: sociology of absences, emergencies, ecology of knowledge; basics of semiotics and photography; basic notions of Quantum Physics: the observer's viewpoint, complementarity and uncertainty theory; photographic language basics; the image as idea and representation; true and lie; MIKSANG" (Meditation and Photography); and, Photovoice methodology.

The Course will develop from the theoretical reflections associated with the exercises and photographic practices of the participants of the course, on issues that affect them and penetrate their lives, in the seeing between "We and the City". We will collectively analyze the photographs by reading the images produced. At the last meeting, a Collective Photographic Exhibition will be held, with the images selected from all participants of the Course

Maria Alice Costa – Maria Alice Nunes Costa has a Sociology Master in Political Science and PhD in Urban Planning from the University Federal of Rio de Janeiro. In Portugal is a researcher in the Center for Social Studies (CES), University of Coimbra (Portugal), where she is investigating the relationships between state, business, and community through a research on entrepreneurial behaviour in Brazil and Portugal. She has been a visiting researcher at De Montfort University,Leicester (UK), California University, Berkeley (USA)and Vanderbilt University, Nashville (USA).In Brazil, is an Associate Professor at Universidade Federal Fluminense (Rio de Janeiro).She works in the field of Art as a Photographer, researching the absences and social invisibles in the urban space, from the relation between Photography, Culture, Communication, Sociology and Philosophy with a transdisciplinary perspective.                                   

Destinatários (público-alvo):
O Curso destina-se a todos/as interessados/as em ampliar o olhar, por meio da Fotografia. Todos os participantes terão direito a certificado de participação no Curso e de participação da Exposição Fotográfica Coletiva.

Expositive and dialogic classes; practical photography classes; collective reading of the photographic images produced by the participants; and, execution of the Collective Photographic Exhibition (Varal Fotográfico). The photographic field work will be developed from unique photographs and/or photographic essays, focusing on concepts and/or topics suggested by the course participants. The course will also be involved in the purpose of signalling and stimulating researchers and master's and doctoral students to carry out photographic essays converging on their scientific researches. The venues of the practical classes will be chosen by the participants of the Course.

Final result:
Installation of a Collective Photographic Exhibition (Varal Fotográfico), with the images produced by the participants of the course. The printing of the photos for the Exhibition will be the responsibility of each participant. All participants will be able to invite colleagues and family members to the opening.

Recipients (target audience):
The Course is intended for all interested in broadening their viewpoints through Photography. All participants will be entitled to a certificate of participation in the Course and participation of the Collective Photographic Exhibition.

Participants may use any photographic equipment, including cell phones; and,  flash-drives, memory card or USB cable, so we can transfer the images to a computer and screen them.

€ 150 - Participants in general
€ 120 - Students and Professors of the University of Coimbra

Number of vacancies: 12 to 23 participants

Schedule: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. - Total workload: 21 hours


Meeting 1 (07/01): Presentation; Fundamentals of Photographic Language; image as idea and representation; and, self-portrait. (CES | Alta, room 2)

Meeting 2 (09/01): Self-portrait reading; Basics of Semiotics and Quantum Physics. (CES | Alta, room 2)

Meeting 3 (11/01): Ecology of knowledges; sociology of absences, emergencies and translation process; and, Photovoice methodology (CES|Graça, 2 floor)

Meeting 4 (14/01): Miksang; photography exercises; Reading the images; and, choose the themes for the Photographic Project. (CES|Alta, room 2)

Meeting  5 (16/01): Field trip for the photographic exercises - Location to be defined by the group.

Meeting 6 (18/01): Collective reading of the produced images; selection of images and planning of the Collective Photographic Exhibition (CES|Alta, room 2)

Meeting  7 (21/01): Opening of the Collective Photographic Exhibition of the images produced by the participants (Varal Fotográfico). 2 Floor Hallway, CES | Alta, 17h