Amadora participated in the Council of Europe pilot Anti-rumours project already in 2014. The project resulted in the creation of an anti-rumours network in each of the participating cities. Since then, Amadora has continued developing and sustaining its anti-rumours strategy.
The Amadora anti-rumour network involves the public administration, the social organisations and citizens. The network creating a pool of "anti-rumours agents" to dismantle stereotypes and common prejudices that target the migrant population and ethnic minorities.
A highly ambitious campaign
Amadora developed an ambitious campaign. The main aim was to change the often negative image that the local population has of migrants and that the Portuguese population has of the municipality. Four national figures - an actress, a singer, a journalist and a sportsman – collaborated to ensure visibility to the campaign.
“Do not feed the rumour” is the continuation of this action through the URBACT project in Amadora (PT).
Anti-rumour agents, arts and culture to change perceptions
Amadora trained dozens of anti-rumour agents. It also used culture and art to fight stereotypes. Below, some of the key cultural activities implemented:
What is the true colour of the clouds?
Exploring the thoughts, feelings and attitudes of the participants towards existing rumours was the main aim of this workshop, organised during the International Comics Festival of Amadora.
Pathways to Integration: the value of the facts.
This theatre-debate was based on the Theatre of the Oppressed methodology. It offered performances, in which the rumours were shown by the players and which were then commented and dismantled by experts.
A solidarity walk with more than 700 people took place in the streets of Amadora. The walk was very impressive, as the city is very compact and has a high population density.
A video summarises all the actions implemented.
Migrants’ testimonies from people living in Amadora
“It's my hometown in Portugal. I do not see myself living in another place.”
“I found good people. People are nice.”
“I'm already used to it. I already feel at home.”
“I feel completely integrated.”
“Amadora is a good city to live in.”
Testimonies of immigrants are available here (video in Portuguese)
The campaign was a driving force behind the proposed constitution of the "ARRIVAL CITIES" network, of which Amadora was the lead partner.
Ana Tomás and Dina Moreira, both from the Special Projects Office of the Amadora City Council, stressed that the promotion of the campaign should continue and be supported by a strong political commitment.