TIDE stakeholders have a lot to say! Their role has been very important since the beginning of the project to help and guide TIDE partners to better implement project objectives in the participating regions. Therefore, we are having a series of interviews with TIDE project stakeholders to find out more about what are they learning from this international exchange of knowledge experience and how are they benefiting from this process. This week we cross the Atlantic Ocean to Madeira to speak with Bernardo de Vasconcelos, Director at John Dos Passos Cultural Centre in Ponta do Sol.
Why did you accept participating in TIDE? What aspect(s) attracted you to the project?
Our focus is on migration, as it is one of the action areas of the John Dos Passos Cultural Centre, specifically Madeiran emigration abroad, also to different areas of the Atlantic. It would be of great value to create a new network based on, beyond the research work that has already been carried out, (re)discovering all the historical connections between these regions of the Atlantic. Besides the transatlantic voyages, onward to the Hawaii islands, with Madeiran emigrants for the sugar-cane plantations, there is also the Indenture Madeiran Sugar Routes to the Caribbean islands to consider, where many Madeirans settled.
Fostering the connection of these different sites with the Sugar Cane and Madeira Rum Route would be of value. Furthermore, bridging each region's historical sites via digital technologies would foster cultural exchange between these regions and further knowledge about this heritage, both amongst locals as well as tourists at each site individually. It would equally promote further research and feed into education services.
Do you find the exchange of experience process, good practices shared from other countries, useful to improve your knowledge and daily work?
Yes, indeed. Sharing experiences and best practices is always crucial for the advancement of knowledge and improved performance.
At present, in which activities are you involved?
Presently, and in terms of migration research, with Hawaii and also the east coast of the USA. We are also looking into linking up with the Caribbean for this purpose.
What benefit(s) would you highlight from participating in the TIDE project?
It would boost our efforts in this regard and also enable all partners to benefit from it.