Lavrar o Mar - the arts in the highlands and in the Costa Vicentina, is an artistic and cultural project created in 2016 by the LAVRAR O MAR Cultural Cooperative and financed by the 365 Algarve programme until 2020, by DGARTES, by the Crescalgarve 2020 programme and by the municipalities of Aljezur and Monchique, which covers the Portuguese southwest region of the Algarve.
Costa Vicentina is a 110 km long natural park, with a unique landscape full of mountains, pine and cork forests, agricultural fields, cliffs and the ocean. The diversity of fauna and flora and the preservation of nature are one of the main concerns of local populations.
Lavrar o Mar promotes contemporary performing arts: dance, music, performance theatre and new circus, inviting European and national companies to present works that are circulating in Europe and Portugal and that are, in some way, linked to the themes of our artistic thought.
There are no theatre halls in this territory, but there is a breathtaking natural environment. Our programme invites artists and audiences to experience the transformation of natural environments into spaces for artistic presentation. Therefore, nature inspires the creative artistic process and the results are very unique.
We are looking for lesser-known places, both on land and in aquatic environments, such as beaches, fishing ports, high cliffs and breathtaking views of the immense Atlantic Ocean. Since ancient times, the people who live here have worked on both land and sea. When the sea does not permit, they turn to the land, plowing and sowing.
We focus on this duality and work on the performing arts, with the aim of involving local Portuguese and foreign populations, as well as many travelers who now discover this region also through the arts. The programme that we have developed since 2016 has been implemented in two municipalities, one with the Atlantic Ocean as its main force: Aljezur; and the other in the mountains: Monchique, about 900 meters above sea level.
Our artistic work can be divided in two different dimensions: one that consists of residences where artists study the local cultures of rural and water traditions, identifying aspects they wish to investigate and then transform them artistically; and the other, which consists of inviting already existing performances that are somehow linked to the project's themes.
With this triangle: art, culture and nature, since 2016 we have been able to unleash a new cultural dynamic that has been taking root in the territory through the regular realization of unique artistic experiences, which takes place during the touristic off- season of southern Portugal which gives another tone to the autumn, winter and spring of this coast and this mountain range.


The Lavrar o Mar Cooperativa Cultural CRL. was founded in 2014 under the name COSANOSTRA Cooperativa Cultural, which has meanwhile changed to its current name. Its mission focuses on the development of artistic and cultural projects in Portugal. We focus on the practice of contemporary performing arts and how they relate to different social contexts, territories and cultural realities. Our cultural programmes take on different shapes, dimensions and durations. The cooperative has worked mainly in Portugal, but also in Australia, Italy and Cape Verde.

Our activity can be summarized by:
  • Artistic creations and productions in theatre, dance, music, new circus, often establishing interdisciplinary bridges;
  • Performing arts research;
  • Cultural programming;
  • Music and literature editing;
  • Artistic direction of festivals, theatre seasons and diverse cultural programmes;
  • Development of concepts and implementation of community artistic-educational projects.
At this moment, our work focuses on a rural area, with low population density, in southwestern Portugal, in Aljezur, Monchique, Odemira and Santiago do Cacém. The aim is to ensure a high quality cultural activity, which acts in depth, in order to develop a regular and long-term cultural dynamic. We work with a young team of professionals who chose to leave their urban lifestyles and come to work on the construction of this cooperative. Giacomo Scalisi and Madalena Victorino are the artistic directors of Lavrar o Mar cooperative.


Lavrar o Mar – transdisciplinary artistic programme in the municipalities of Aljezur and Monchique;
Lavrar o Mira e a Lagoa – transdisciplinary artistic programme in the municipalities of Santiago do Cacém and Odemira;
Bowing – artistic project of performing laboratories for the integration of the socially and economically disadvantaged emigrants working in the greenhouses of the municipality of Odemira;
Miragem - artistic-pedagogical programme for all schools in the municipality of Odemira;
Touro Azul – touristic and cultural programme that consists of 16 tours between Santiago do Cacém and Sagres strongly linked to the local culture and to its inhabitants.


Lavrar o Mar was structured around the tandem of performing arts and local culture, with the aim of involving not only local populations of all ages, Portuguese and foreign, but also travelers and tourists, who upon arriving in this territory, discover the culture of this place through the arts, its research and practice, seeing the realization of the projects happen in full nature or in built spaces, references of a strong and identity rural culture of this region.
In this more deserted Algarve, far from the beaches with a large tourist flow, we have been contributing to a new flow of people who arrive attracted by our performances and the programme that we present. With the value of unleashing a dynamic of fruition and artistic experience of great quality and accessible to everyone without exception, we are now in the 4th cycle of work with the aim that the action already started, tested and developed can be sedimented, consolidated and deepen in a structured and lasting way for the future.


To deepen the involvement of artists with local populations and the opportunity for the public to know less obvious aspects of the local culture through significant encounters with the performing arts.
We want to keep responding to the challenges of this programme: to dynamize locally and transversely, to attract those who come to visit this region through an artistic programme made with the people who inhabit it and sculp it everyday, making it unique and unreplicable elsewhere.
Through artistic programming, we seek to promote critical thinking and collective reflection on the great issues of the present, offering the public that visits us new visions and new proposals to face the challenges of the present and the future, of Portugal and the world.


LAVRAR O MAR is a project by Lavrar o Mar - Cooperativa Cultural CRL


Artistic Direction and Programming
Giacomo Scalisi, Madalena Victorino

Technical and Production Direction
Joaquim Madaíl

Financial Management
Sandra Correia

Administration Management
Raquel Oliveira

Artistic Consulting and Field Production
Rémi Gallet

Production Support
Carolina Ribeiro

Vasco Almeida

English Advisor
Keeley Cheston

João Mariano

Diogo Grilo