Ethno Portugal 2019 had 62 participants: 50 musicians and 12 dancers from 28 countries. Using an ethnographic strategy, data collection included participant observation, interviews, and visual documentation. Using inductive coding key themes were explored and analysed in response to three lines of enquiry set for these pilot projects, (1) pedagogy and professional development, (2) experience, and (3) reverberations.
The research suggested that participants arrived at the camp with a high level of motivation in two main areas: an eagerness to share music in an open and respectful environment, and a desire to meet and be-with people from cultural contexts other than their own. Participants arrived at camp with a good level of musical skill and in some cases some prior knowledge of what to expect. The site created a bounded residential space through which the everyday could be suspended through both communal living and intensive arts practice. Mitigated through the ‘suspension of the everyday,’ ‘respectful musical exchange’ alongside ‘being-with-people’ provided participants with the Ethno Portugal experience.
Beyond the camp itself, participants placed a strong emphasis on professional development, for example, increasing repertoire, networking, and potential work opportunities. The value participants put on the cultural
experience meant there were some significant moments of intercultural understanding leading to more in-depth insights into societies other than their own. For some, Ethnos of this nature provide a lens through which to think and reflect on both current contemporary affairs and broader aspects of personal life. As a critical window, those that had felt this way understood, or at least began to understand, how Ethno experiences might, or do, play a part in their decision making within the everyday. This might be one of the most critical dimensions for Ethno Research to explore.