Perhaps the silence has been deafening, or maybe no one noticed?
The past month has been a challenging one but we’re beginning to emerge and are on the verge of breaking the silence, I hope I can safely say that over the coming weeks you’ll hear a lot more about the developments of the unMonastery but before that happens I wanted to share something, an FAQ.
This is for the new website but more importantly to field the obvious questions of those who encounter the unMonastery in Matera. I’d like to ask, what have we missed? If there are questions that we may have missed please raise them now and we shall include them.
Our initial launch is focused on an Italian version of the site but hopefully we’ll have an equal match of english. If you’re wondering what all the brackets and *** are, it’s markdown, which is the formatting language we use on the site. Please forgive the lack of other formatting it didn’t paste so well.
In addition, this next week we’re going to produce a video, asking individual unMonasterian’s to answer questions, if you have burning questions you needed answered please also share them.
More soon and much love from the unMonastery. <3
How can I participate in unMonastery Matera?
We’re very open to collaboration and making partnerships with existing groups in the region. It’s worth checking out our Projects page to find out where you might make a connection, or let us know about your own project, perhaps we can help! Offline - Just drop by any time between 10:00 - 19:00, Tuesday to Saturday! Palazzo del Casale, Rioni Sassi (Sasso Barisano), 75100 Matera Online - Contact us
What are the objectives of the unMonastery?
We are working together as a group to establish a new model for co-living and co-working which borrows from the history of the monastery as an organisational form. This is the first unMonastery - it is a prototype. The model is aimed at addressing the interlinked needs of disused or abandoned space, unemployment and depleting social services by combining these problems together in order to find a solution.
What is the unMonastery trying to do in Matera?
We believe that you can’t begin to design solutions until you understand the problems - so our first steps in Matera have been to meet with people, share our projects and listen to the things that the people of Matera tell us about what we should be doing. We understand that the unMonastery comes from the outside, our participants are from diverse backgrounds, geographies and share different skillsets, but together we share a common objective as a group; > The desire to begin a process in supporting active citizenship in Matera by engaging formal or informal groups and established institutions, in an open dialogue about how we can improve our daily lives together, through collaboration, understanding and meaningful work. We offer ourselves and our services to the Citizenry of Matera.
Is it free to visit and participate in the unMonastery?
All our workshops and events are free and open. The unMonastery is an experiment at the edges of dominant economic structures. We share our skills and ideas. You share what you have.
Who pays for the unMonastery?
Since the project started in 2012 it has been supported by the work of the EdgeRyders community, many people have worked together without finances to make the project happen. The prototype of unMonastery in Matera has been funded by the municipality for the period of 4 months and we have been granted the use of a building. Individuals receive a subsistence level per-diem of 400 Euro a month, which provides for living expenses and project materials. We will be publishing all our expenses publically as part of our Open Finance Initiative. We are also working on a Sustainability Plan to ensure the unMonastery can succeed without the use of public or private funds in the future.
Who are the unMonasterians?
The prototype in Matera is set to host 14 individuals from all over the world, you can find out more about these individuals on the people pages. Beyond the group based in Matera there are many international collaborators and networks contributing to the development of the overall project.
How did the unMonastery start?
The unMonastery was developed in collaboration with EdgeRyders LBG over the course of the last 18 months. Edgeryders started out as a project by the Council of Europe and the European Commission, which after termination developed into an international community run social enterprise. The unMonastery continues to live and grow as part of the EdgeRyders community, you can join that process on the platform.
What is the relationship between unMonastery and other institutions or organisations connected to Matera?
Edgeryders is the mother community out of which unMonastery was born. Matera 2019 Committee saw it as strategically beneficial for Matera and so chose to support the creation of the first unMonastery in Matera as part of the bid for Cultural Capital of Europe 2019. We hope to collaborate with many other groups during our stay here, so please get in contact if you’re interested.
Why is it called unMonastery?
The historical role of the monastery in Europe involved a range of features, including: 1. A physical place - building or set of buildings; 2. Set within or nearby a community; 3. members committed to a particular way of being within their home; 4. and to helping and serving the community that they were located in. These are features that the unMonastery reproduces. It’s the ‘Monastery’ in unMonastery. Other Monasteries have historically also included features such as a strict hierarchy, male only and submission to a fixed religious ideology. These are features that we’re not interested in reproducing, which is the reason for the ‘un’ in unMonastery. Our current definition is this: un·Mon·as·ter·y (un-mŏn′ə-stĕr′ē) n. pl. un·mon·as·ter·ies 1. The place in which we gather. 2. A group that comes together to collaborate on shared social challenges. 3. A prototype that is redefined in each iteration by its participants, context and it’s outcomes. 4. The beginning of something different.
What happens at the unMonastery?
Lots of things, too many to list but here’s a few ways you can find out: 1. Visit our Events page 2. Check out individual projects 3. Read our latest News 4. Visit us Can I use your space? We encourage active participation and we welcome you to come and propose a workshop or event in collaboration with our present work.
How will you gauge the success of your work in Matera?
We aim to start a process that will be beneficial for the people of Matera, we will measure our success based on the ability for the projects and processes we produce to continue after our departure. Alternatively success may be quantified by finding a way to extend the project without continued financial aid.
How will you ensure people not living in the Sassi find out about the unMonastery?
Many of the projects take place outside of the Sassi. We are aware that the Sassi does not represent Matera as a whole. We are currently connecting with local schools, citizen initiatives, and community projects, which have a diverse base. In order to gain greater awareness for the scope of the city -whilst also being useful- we’ve introduced the Open Street Map Challenges, to explore the whole of Matera.
Matera, is cited by the unMonasterians as the natural birthplace for the unMonastery Prototype due to its deep relationship to early monastic orders and the role that monasteries played during past centuries.
You didn’t answer all of my questions!
If this FAQ didn’t satisfy your curiosity we invite you to come and visit us or send a message to XXX and we’ll answer the question here.