Els espais buits no fan Gràcia : The empty spaces are not funny
So read the new banner that now hangs on the end wall of the new Hort Comunitari, or community garden in Catalan, that was opened in Gracia on Saturday morning. From just being another quite and dry street, theres now a hive of activity in Caller Banyoles; people, laughter, color, sounds, music, dancing, kids playing. Being there one knows that Patcha Mama smiles again in Gracia.
Well over a hundred people entered a site that had been left derelict for the last 5 years. The concrete ground was smashed apart and the soil underneath was broken open with pics, forks, spades and hoes. People arrived in with recycled large construction bags with soil inside, once inside these bags had young plants put into them and were watered. that was lovely and brown and full of nutrientsdue to having horse manure mixed into it. Other soil was added to the freshly broken red earth and new plants were inserted here too. a large heap of soil at the end wall gave endless hours of healthy mucky enjoyment to kids who dug tunnells and rolled around, laughing and shrieking with delight as they did so.
film at okupumlesones
A communal meal was prepared and shared out, a bar was set up and local beer was happily drunk. Outside the wall was transferred from its drab brick to a lovely mural and people talked with the inquisitive neighbours. small flyers were distributed outlining the reasons for this direct eco action.
A sound system was set up and a group of local dancing girls arrived down to shake their hips and bellys to sounds from Arabia and Hawaii, this brought even more neighbours in through the gardens doorway. Neighbours in surrounding buildings came out to their terraces to watch the spectacle unfold.
Sunday saw more lively activities aswell as the first garden assembly, with about 25 people talking about how to organise the space and any other things of importance. Afterwards there was dancing, trapeze, singing, theatre and a music band. To finish off there were free donations of fruit, vegetables, bread and leftovers from that days communal dinner for whoever wanted them. Many neighbours came in and most seem excited by the prospects of whats possible after seeing the energy and sense of community from this weekend.
Reclaiming spaces of the neighbourhood, planting life with joy
This direct action is the culmination of combined afforts of many groups doing interesting things in this Barcelona Barrio, many of which organise, analysize, explore and take actions through the very nicely named Observatory of Gracia. Some of the groups or individuals that entered this spaces during the weekend ranged from random passers by from all ends of the age spectrum, organised local neighbourhood groups, the assembly of youth of Gràcia, scouts, music and cabaret performers, graffiti artists, eco activists from Can Masdeu and beyond, Gràcia Viva, Revolta Global (grup de Gràcia) and people invovled with the local social centres of Ateneu Rosa de Foc, Infoespai, Kasa de la Muntanya, La Torna, and last but definately not least La Quimera.
There will be radio recordings from the weekend soon.
Announcements were posted on IMC-BCN and Global Eco Forum amongst other spaces, as well as much posters around the streets and A5 posters attached to most of the front doors of the apartment blocks in the locality.
Note:Pacha Mama is the name for Mother Earth, in Quechua, the language of the Incas and still a predominant language in Peru and her neighbouring lands.