Inspiration: Calafou, a postcapitalist eco-industrial colony

Since I assume that unMonastery is constantly on the lookout for what could be their next location, I just wanted to share some inspiration by shortly presenting Calafou, a somewhat related project near Barcelona, Spain. (Calafou accepts guest visits and hosts various open culture related conferences, so maybe some collaboration can be set up – perhaps LOTE4 even? But I really can’t say, since I have only very little direct contact so far.)

Calafou: Colonia ecoindustrial postcapitalista

So, Calafou: In unMonastery terms, this is a permanent hacker monastery, near Barcelona (80 min by train). The buildings are from an old Spanish “industrial colony”: an industrial plant in the outback, where water power provided cheap energy. It was abandoned for long, so is partially in bad shape (but huge: 27 000 m², see also a building map). Interestingly, they have currently an architecture competition going on, to find the best use for their biggest building, which lost its roof in a fire before they acquired the place. (Maybe [antonioelettrico] will like this? :wink:

The place was acquired in 2011 (?) as a lease-buy (500 000 EUR over 10 years). The installment payments for the purchase need about 3500 EUR a month [source], which together with operating costs is collectively provided by the inhabitants [source] and from donations.

Calafou is in close cooperation / organized by Cooperativa Integral Catalana, which wants to be a self-sufficient network of coops, providing products and services for all areas of life, and includes mutual help / bartering between the coops.

If you want to “virtually walk around” on their area, here is all the media I could find on the 'Net:

Image Credits: Photography by Lisa Furness on her blog post “Welcome to Calafou”, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.


also dubbed as “the Hacker Monastery”

Thanks Matt, indeed a great reference, I remember to have watched their #30c3 presentation and was super intrigued. It might be of use for unMonasterians given that they have about 2 years ahead and more experience with common governance, consensus based decision making and stuff that you usually figure out in the long term, it’s not attached to the design from the beginning. PS in the video description they mention some even call it the hacker monastery.

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