The Beaches of Cascais: past and present
The objective of the "The Beaches of Cascais: past and present" exhibition was to trigger public’s attention and foster society engagement with coastal issues.
Summary of activity:
An outdoor science-based exhibition. Twenty-eight large prints (2x1m) showed the same beach as captured by old and recent photographs, with the images displayed side-by-side. One print displayed a map with the name and location of the beaches, and another one contained a brief description of beach dynamics. A video compiling the several elements of the “The Beaches of Cascais: past and present” exhibition and the survey results is available in the website: http://beachphotomonitoring.campus.ciencias.ulisboa.pt/movie.html.
What went well:
1. Location: the exhibition took place outdoor, in an attractive and pleasant seaside promenade where hundreds of people walk every day. This setting allowed reaching a wider audience and contacting in "their own ground”.
2.Storytelling: the narrative of the evolution of the beaches of Cascais was supported mainly upon the comparison of present-day photographs with ones from the early to mid-20th century.
3.Design: large panels with appealing design, supported by large-format printed photographs triggered the public attention.
What was learned:
Supporting the narrative format on photographs allows audiences with different backgrounds to “find the answer on their own”. Not imposing a solution makes easier for people to accept it and to retain their own findings.
Top tips and advice for others
Framing the message according to your audience specificities. Framing helps turning scientific data into meaningful information for the target audience and involves translating scientific findings into a language understandable by the audience (in this case, photographs - an "universal language"), as well as choosing the proper communication channels (in this case, an exhibition).