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LUTO [EU] - Elimination of Violence Against Women - UTAD, Portugal

December 30, 2019

The Social Work Degree of the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD), represented by the 3rd Year Students of the subject “Cidadania, Exclusões e Empoderamento” (Citizenship, Exclusions, and Empowerment) under the teaching and supervision of professor Luzia Oca Gonzalez, and the participation of professors Vera Mendonça and Sandra Mendes, has commemorated the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25th), for the fifth consecutive year, with support and funding from The Centre for Transdisciplinary Development Studies and the School of Human and Social Sciences of the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro.

The activity entitled LUTO [EU] (which means I Fight or Mourning in Portuguese) is presented as a pedagogical innovation on social work education using arts (e.g. Music, Scenic Arts, Painting, Literature, Photography, and Digital Arts), and exploring its social functions, to train students and to engage them in activism, stimulating the academic and local community.
As every year, this activity, organized by the third year students of Social Work intends to give visibility to gender violence and to contribute to its better understanding, reflexion, and elimination. The UTAD students have presented a scenic performance to scream Stop The Violence Against Women, and have produced an art exhibition with artworks, created by themselves, denouncing this reality in the university context with the engagement, and performance production, of the Cultural Producer Sara Canteiro. This action it’s also presented as a tribute to women murdered or who have or are surviving an attempted murder in intimate relationships in Portugal on the previous year.
This fifth edition of LUTO [EU] aimed to focus on gender inequalities and violence in the university context, in search of ways and actions for their eradication. For the first time, this pedagogical practice opened its doors to the cooperation and participation of students of Social Work from another school, the Higher Institute of Social Work of Porto (ISSSP), represented by professor Sara Melo. Students from Porto have presented a dance performance to express a social message about gender violence in the university context but also on general society.
This edition included also communications from invited academic speakers specialized on the subject of violence against women, a theater performance from students of Theater Degree of the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, and counted with more than 300 participants from academic, politic and local communities to listen, reflect and to share their engagement with this cause.
Finally, as immediate results, the organization of LUTO EU was invited to present this pedagogical practice at the Higher Institute of Social Work of Porto, in the first semester of 2020.

If you are interested on social work pedagogical practice and/or social intervention through the use of Arts, on feminist studies or gender violence do not hesitate to contact us.

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