New ideas for the Villages

Hello dear people!

I just came from a workshop about female entrepreneurship in London, which turned out to be a very bittersweet experience - I will spare the details of what went wrong. But there was a lot of constructive talk going on, and I have a few leads for the future cooperations for us, which will need further development and some meetings.

  1. Ubele, our host organization from London, is fostering female entrepreneurship and social businesses among groups of color in London. Mostly run by people of Carribean or African descent, born in the UK and fighting a new wave of racism, which they fought against in the 60-ties and 70-ties and felt like they’ve succeeded, until Brexit.

    Anyhow, they just got hold of a space in Tottenham that is stunning and very affordable, and huge. They plan to spend 2018 on various collaborations that could lead to turning this space into an interesting hub and sustainable project, ideally a mix of projects. I talked with one of the founders and she is really keen on meeting sometime soon, in Brussels or London, to have a chat and see what we could do.

  2. Palermo - my dear friends and ex-colleagues from Palermo are now working on recovering properties from the mafia and they got a hold of a couple of them already. The newest one is a big farmland at the outskirts of Palermo, where they want to run a project supporting migrants in Palermo (there’s plenty of them, mostly from Nigeria, Ghana, Bangladesh), victims of human trafficking or people escaping their countries. They are now only waiting for the final document and they will be moving there for a decade to start with. I also suggested we could be working with them and as soon as the papers arrive, we could have a talk as well with them.

  3. A new museum in Wroclaw - a brand new friend of mine, a female construction engineer from Wroclaw, is managing construction of cultural sites in Wroclaw and now she’s working on a very vaguely described new space that will be constructed sometime soon in the city. This is a bit of a long shot and we decided not to apply right now with a collaboration as she is afraid the ministry of culture in Poland would not understand a thing, but once the concept and the construction is approved, we could get some funding to run a conservation laboratory for citizens in the site. The museum will be called Museum of Squeaking Floors (or something like this) and the idea is to bring falling apart items from Ossolineum collections in Lviv and restore them - Ukraine doesn’t want to give them to Poland but has no money to save them. It would be a way to protect them and show them for a limited time to Polish audiences. I know this is not exactly something we’ve done so far, but I think this could be a very interesting project to work on in the near future.

Any comments and ideas very welcome.


Huh! :astonished: Could you connect me?

With a friend, I just spent five days driving around Puglia and Basilicata to find an abandoned industrial building or farmland for a bit similar project. We found some, but obviously it’s a long way from there to having the building. Palermo would do just as well for our purposes, as they also have a (small) container port. Even better, they have a car ferry to Tunisia (I took it last December) … so for going with the truck every now and then to visit our friends in Medenine etc. it would be perfect :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


Hey Matt, absolutely! it would be best if we go there together and see it and talk to the people - as I imagine they fought for the land quite a while and have already some ideas, we can decide together how could we fit there. What do you think? Would you like me to start an email conversation with them meanwhile, or organise a call?

Superb, I would love to get back to Palermo to kick start something with my old friends - it seems very promising.

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How do you recover property from the mafia?

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We have a very effective law for that. You get a conviction for organised crime, the state can (and will) take your assets. We have confiscated about 20,000 properties (and counting). They then get re-assigned to NGOs, social coops etc.

We have got open data:


And you don’t get an unexpected visit sometime later…?

Not so much, it turns out. The main issue is that mobsters spawn ghost NGOs to get the assets back. But the authority is quite vigilant. It works well enough.

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I’m convinced…lets have a Sicilian Edgeryders Farm. Tomatoes or grapes?


Tomatoes, without a doubt.

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Speaking of houses, check out this photo set of earthen round houses in Tunisia not super far from Medenine…

Yes Mr @johncoate :that’s Benikhdech it is not far from Medenine ( about 30kms only) and it could be a very good idea to turn it to an open village.I’m originally from Medenine and I can assure that those houses could be very useful for living.


Oranges surely!