Report on the Barcelona stage of the educational partnership EEE
The fifth stage of the European project “Enough for Everyone, Forever” took place in Barcelona from the 5th to the 10th of March 2014.
The “Punt d’Interaction de Collserolla (PIC, social centre), the Spanish partner of the project, had invited its colleagues from Poland, Germany and France.
he meeting was held at Can Masdeu, where PIC is domiciled. Can Masdeu is an ancient hospital for leprosy patients on the outskirts of Barcelona. Abandoned for over half a century, it was squatted in 2002 by activists from several social movements: ecologists, anti-globalists, anarchists. Police attempts to remove the squatters failed. There have been both civil and criminal cases brought against the occupants. Although the owners won most of them, no eviction notice has since been issued.
Right from the start the residents of Can Masdeu made efforts to connect with the surrounding local population. In particular, the community encouraged local gardeners to come plant their own gardens on the grounds, an offer that generated considerable interest. The community gardens of Can Masdeu are the biggest of Barcelona today.
Most Sundays of the year the social centre PIC opens its doors to the public. Between 100 and 300 persons participate in activities related to ecology, activism, and self-sufficiency. On the 9th of March these topics were replenished by the workshops of the European project.
The days before that, the project partners had the opportunity to discover how the community works.
The 25 residents live a sustainable lifestyle, consuming little energy and resources. Organic gardening, experimentation in permaculture and ecological water management are also part of the collective’s activities. The residents hold bi-weekly meetings, participate in organic gardening and pay a rent of 25 euros per month. Can Masdeu has a quite low resident’s turnover rate. The community runs a bike shop and repair clinic, provides space to the local high school for meetings and performances, and it also hosts meetings of progressive and resistance groups.
The “Enough for Everyone, Forever” project partners used the stay in Can Masdeu to assist the community in its everyday work and life, but most of all to provide the final touches to their workshops, developed during the previous stages.
The acquisitions of the GO workshop were the following:
Completion of the supporting structure (mobile and totem of the “Euro Actors for Environment”-project, dyeing with walnut stain, completion of the attachment devices)
Integration of an artistic intervention based on the reemployment of materials found on site (old hemp bags, bicycle handlebar grips, leafs, fruits and rind of spruce)
First public testing on the outside during the visitor day at Can Masdeu
Testing of the impact or an artistic performance during the workshop
Testing of the mobile structure under real operating conditions, testing of the suspended graphic elements (free form …) and methods of attachment (tongs, strings …)
Assessment of the Can Masdeu-Meeting
To sum up the most important results of the practical test of the GO-Workshop were the following:
Participation: 15 persons did actively contribute to the workshop, a large number of spectators watched the performance
The spectators did ask lots of questions about the workshop
The workshop did attract children especially, thereby mobilizing their parents as well
The participating adults showed genuine interest
The structures did pass the test: The totem proved to be stable enough, the mobile was actually mobile
Improve the persuasiveness of the workshop design (storyline and course of the event, explanation of the objectives
Make an information board
Associate the artistic performance more closely to the animation (share the artistic process based on reemployment with the participants, improve the suspension system both technically and graphically)
In the case of short interventions: collect the different reemployment materials in advance
Reflect on form, size and further use of the of the suspended graphic elements in view of the dissemination of the results
Use mixed techniques based on reemployment to create the suspended graphic elements instead of cutting them out
Improve the structures for outdoor use (guying, ballast)
Switch from spontaneous participation to an workshop with prior registration
Develop forms of the workshop adapted to school environments and socio-cultural centres
First conclusions of the EEE educational partnership
The partners will meet this summer for a final debriefing session in Barcelona. The French partner likes to point out some significant benefits in advance:
Encounter between different cultural universes
Breaking cultural deadlock (Southern/northern Europe, differences in layout and organisational embeddedness of the projects)
Possibilities of later, more focused partnerships