The meeting of the Cooperativa Integral Catalana was a strange coming together of my activist life in Barcelona – in which i support the CIC and do bits that i can to help get the word out that they are awesome, and the Boodaville project, which is broadly about the same thing – alternative living, but is still way more conventional than the ideals of the CIC. For example i have no plan to develop Boodaville “outside”” of the system. I am committed to getting correct permissions and paying my taxes, mainly because i want to support the economy of a poor area. I also need money – to cover labour costs and materials and want to earn enough fromt he project to live a comfortable life. Thirdly there is no way I can survive without petrol. These are the realities of my current situation.
HOWEVER the CIC sure did give me food for thought. and some rather delicious food in general.
1) It is true that the Spanish government are not exactly demonstrating the traits of an honest, efficient, democratic system. Not only do they succumb to the will of powerful businesses and influential 1% as we see in all democracies (truedat or not??) but they are absolutely rife with corruption up to the very top. I’m comfortable with the idea of civil disobedience in Barcelona – so why not in Teruel?
Possible answers – I feel i have more involvement in community? That they are more democratic because the culture of community involvement feels stronger than in the city? That i am still hoping there will be public money to support my project? That I have more to lose if the law comes down against me?
2) How much money do i really need? I have always undertaken the project using as little money as possible and more importantly trying to use as few resources as i reasonably can – in line with what i now understand to be permaculture principles. But could “social money” really replace the money i need/money i earn? To a certain extent i think it could – and i fully intend to explore this option. Firstly by getting in touch with and helping to further establish the local ecoxarxa. Even if an ecoxarxa doesn’t reach it’s ideals of creating a network of exchange system outside of money it is an effective way of bringing people who think in the same way together (they think like this : we don’t like the economic system is there an alternative?). Ok here goes, an entirely un-exhaustive list of people who i’ve met or nearly met who are interested in this, and who will hopefully soon be my friends : jordi in arnes, joris and monique near beceite, ferran and carmen, xavi and marta in arens de lledo, siliva and … in valderobres, luis and eva in calaceite, tomás in batea, marcos in calaceite, david in pinell, xai in valderrobres.. still reading? i would skip to the next bit.
Also in terms of earning money it could help me out because the people who want to visit at the moment, the people who are willing to help out and don’t mind the hard style of life which exists until i have the water/electricity/ buildings completely sorted, are mostly people who don’t have money. But i can’t continue to offer the little facilities there are completely for free and the answer to this could be that people contribute to their visit with ecos.
3) Petrol and transport in general. This is where i come really unstuck. At the moment i use petrol as i need it to actually make the project happen. In the long term then yes i’ll be looking for renwable energy alternatives and hyper-efficient systems that don’t require external resources very much. But right now this remains a problem that cannot be solved by alternatives for me. It costs money and petrol or a train fare to get from Barcelona to Boodaville. I’m fine with that. I chose it. But people who come to visit and don’t have the money are a bit stuck as far as i see it the only way to avoid the environmental impact is to hitch, car share or cycle! and the only way to avoid the cost is to offer something so valuable that it is covered by “project” money instead of yours – such as a workshop or musical performance at the Boodaville festival!!