From February to October 2017, the Money Museum and Associação Renovar a Mouraria developed a project aimed at children and youths aged 6-18 years, taking them on a journey through the history of money and the city of Lisbon.
Instrument of direct or indirect exchange, means of payment, store of value, cause of happiness or anxiety, many things could be said about money, but this project focuses on an aspect that is seldom thought of: money as an instrument of mediation within a community. Using this approach, we have learned and accomplished much together.
During the project’s twelve sessions, we had the opportunity of exploring several issues with the participants:
• What is money (anyway)? Since when does money exist? What type of money was used in the past? What type of money is used nowadays? And how do we use it? What do we use it for in our lives?
• What functions does money perform? What is a convention?
• What is a community? How are communities made? Are communities always the same or do they change? Does money play a role within a community? Can it serve as mediator within a community? Can money (banknotes and coins) be the symbol of a community?
• What does money mean to me? Would I trade my favourite object for money? What would I buy with money? What is saving? Is it important?
To answer these and other questions, we attempted to transform what was learned into actual growth, resorting to artistic and creative experimentation, in a multidisciplinary work that brought together a visual artist, the Money Museum's education team and the cultural and social mediators of Associação Renovar a Mouraria.
Throughout the twelve sessions, we attempted to develop a variety of activities and games to foster learning and knowledge sharing. The readiness shown by all participants involved was crucial to this first project beyond the Money Museum’s walls.
This project evolved constantly, which also created opportunities for us to get to know each other and discover what identifies us and brings us closer together. An enriching experience for all participants!