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?
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:
- Lisa Faress' series of blog posts (with beautiful photos) on Calafou: Introduction, their work, living conditions, and the site.
- Calafou on YouTube
- Calafou on Flickr: official account, tagged Calafou, search results for Calafou and Ca La Fou.
Image Credits: Photography by Lisa Furness on her blog post “Welcome to Calafou”, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.