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Ministério da Cultura


“Amongst the emergent forms of collaborative use of digital technologies it is possible to identify an innovative practice and experimentation, the Brazilian experience of the Pontos de Cultura, a priority action within the Programme Cultura Viva of the Ministry of Culture of Brazil that contributes to the creation of a grassroot digital ecosystem promoting Culture, Education and Citizenship.”[1]

Since the beginning, Lula’s Government has fostered Brazilian cultural production. With the election of Gilberto Gil as minister of Culture, fostering Brazilian cultural production has really become a priority.

One of the projects carried out under the Silva administration is that of the Pontos Da Cultura (Cultural Hotspots).

The Pontos da Cultura are basically places where people can meet, have free access to computers and to the Internet, learn and create knowledge. Although there is no unique model for the Pontos, all of them use open source software and, in particular, it has been pointed out that the choice of technological tools based on free software and the collaborative and cooperative approach to digital culture has contributed to the success of this policy. Through the creations of teams (Equipe) composed of young researchers and free software developers, they also developed the methodology to share the knowledge and disseminate the technological competences to the highest possible number of people.

Today there are only 1000 Pontos da Cultura, but the Ministry of Culture is planning on building up 9000 more in the next two years.

The aim of this cultural project is to make apparent to society the already existing underground cultural productions throughout the country, including music, theatre, dance and anything worth enhancing and fostering.

Each cultural association can apply for the government contest to receive funds and become a Pontos Da Cultura if the Ministry of Culture approves their project.

A lot of other projects are being developed in the Pontos such as Agente Cultura Viva, Escola Viva e Accao Cultura Digital.

These projects are involving schools, doing workshops in the Pontos and offering grants for young people to dedicate to artistic studies.

They are promoting collaborations with the Ministry of Education, (providing the grants) and with the Ministry of Communication (in charge of the technological tools provided in each of the Pontos)

The major problem now is sustainability.

Each of the Pontos will receive funds for 2 years, but it has to regularly report to the Ministry of Culture on the projects they carry out and on related activities.

The major weakness is that there are not any quantitave nor qualitative indicators to test the efficacy of this policy.

Qualitative indicators are being developed for the short term, and in a few years they will be able to test if the projects produced improvements in the long term.




[1] Ferraro, Bria &

by Federica Taccari

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