ESCOLA DOS LABIRINTOS (School of Labyrinths)

Designed for children between the ages of 6 and 12, School of Labyrinths is the name of OSSO‘s educational project. Based on an informal, artistically rooted model (and, in this sense, complementary and alternative to the formal artistic curriculum of the educational institutions that the visiting children may be part of), the School of Labyrinths generally offers a diverse range of workshops, exhibition, and performance activities. These activities are built on the relationship between a broad and dynamic group of invited artists, an in-house team of artist-monitors from OSSO, and the physical, social, and cultural conditions of the place and territory where we are located: an old agricultural infrastructure in the village of São Gregório, Caldas da Rainha municipality.

These activities take place regularly in our village space and are primarily aimed at developing children’s imaginative and projective capacities through a hybrid model that combines autonomous and guided learning. In this model, the exploration of different techniques, languages, and artistic practices is attentive to their potential for interdisciplinary cross-pollination as well as their social and ecological impact, with a focus on children’s civic and environmental education.

In this context, children will have the opportunity to experiment with devices and activities that articulate or focus on various practices such as music, drawing, sculpture, theater, sound, video, radio, or architecture. By appealing to the children’s imagination and encouraging collective creation through a creative engagement with the specificities of the surrounding context, always mediated by the subjectivity and sensitivity of each invited artist, this is a school made of ‘labyrinths,’ translated into small puzzles, where everyone will be invited to, more than seeking an exit or solution, experience the pleasure of drifting fueled by curiosity and wonder.

How are we organized?
School of Labyrinths carries out its main and regular activities throughout the year in the workshops and residency space of OSSO in the village of São Gregório. In addition to regular activities, during the month of July (SUMMER), we organize a special and longer-lasting event.

Occasionally, School of Labyrinths ‘travels’ to other geographies and more distant communities, experimenting with interaction models with children based on the design of specific performative-workshop-exhibition itineraries tailored to the hosting contexts (ON THE ROAD).

In our home, IN THE VILLAGE of São Gregório, the School of Labyrinths is structured around two main axes: Thematic Workshops, which are disciplinary or project-oriented and led by guest artists, taking place on specific Saturday mornings; and the Open Workshop, where, through autonomous and free access to OSSO‘s workshop space, children can develop small projects in collaboration with members of the OSSO collective, reflecting and expanding on each child’s individual interests and curiosity.

In this workshop space, which is more free and autonomous in nature, children will have (monitored) access to various workstations and a small library and media center to support the development of their own projects.