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las ultimas horas – a little story about everything and the dignity of giving

This is a story about an exhibition in CASAdelDRAGON in 2020 and 2021, about a 49 year long friendship, about attention trafficing of yellowpress imperialism, about our tipping points in science, meaning and life. It is a story about the liberation from the paradise of ignorance and a story about the gift of love of letting go and the dignity of giving love without expectation.

Disclaimer: You need about 5 minutes to read this article, but a lifetime to experience it. Please ask your doctor or pharmacist about risks and side effects.

Las ultimas horas is the title of the running exhibition in CASAdelDRAGON, our community guest house, artist residence, think tank and experimental playground for social art projects. It is an exhibition with works from several international artists, all exhibited in the last 14 years in the art gallery in the basement. The exhibition is open for the public on saturdays and sundays from 10am to 2pm.


In the phase of the reconstruction of the CASAdelDRAGON we needed transport routes for heavy loads. For this purpose, openings were provided in the ceilings in order to transport the materials to higher levels. At the beginning of the expansion of the gallery, these transport routes could be closed.

But the history of this exhibition is also a reference to the birth of this place for art. More than 17 years ago we started to dissolve the material warehouse for the reconstruction of the CASAdelDRAGON and in 2007 we prepared the first exhibition opening in 5 months of hard labor. The photos in this article are from this time and remind us of the last hours before the entrance to the first vernissage. They tell the story of the “ultimas horas”, but also the story of all the people who made it possible for this social space to arise.

More than 200 people from many countries around the world had already helped to rebuild the CASAdelDRAGON. Some of these wonderful people had also agreed to help with the expansion, installation and preparation of the first exhibition in 2007. A very important person in the life of the builders of this social space was also there. And this article should also be about this woman who has been with us for so long.


In the expansion phase, we used relatively modern building materials. This was also due to the fact that ecological building materials and wood treatment methods were not available. In any case, we did not want to use toxic materials to protect wooden structures and at that time we decided on reinforced concrete as the load-bearing element. The closing of the last transport hole also marked a farewell to an era in which this 700-year-old house was being rebuilt.

When guests visit the gallery today, they cannot see what preparations were necessary to make this visit possible. Architecture makes history, but the focus is often on the surface of things, the building becomes a selfie for the builder, and sometimes also for the architect who plans it. The CASAdelDRAGON is a place to remember the construction workers and their own history. It is a place that was created through the social interaction of those involved, through the cooperation between the actors. And it is a place that connects the history of these helpers with the many generations before who built the place Cervera del Maestre from the ruins of a military fortress, and the CASAdelDragon as one of the houses of this place.

Nowadays philosophers wonder whether the real world still has a chance over the virtual world. The helpless attempt of the so-called mainstream media by media extension of the regulars’ tables in the television studio and the claim of opinion journalism for supervised non-thinking must be stunned to see how the young wild Youtubers pass by with their click rates. As viewing habits change, so do attention spans. When data becomes a commodity, the oil of this time, then distributing likes turns into a better pregnancy test. Imperialists have always exchanged glass pearls for gold, but never proved that either one is enough for establishing personal happiness. But whoever holds the glass pearls in their hands and reproaches or complains about the exchange, has probably not quite understood it.


The CASAdelDRAGON is also linked to Spanish history through the use of some building materials. The large wooden beam in the right photo was recovered from the beach of Vinaros after a violent storm. After that, it had waited twenty years for his appointment in the materials warehouse, the first floor, today’s gallery. It has found its place in a small store for the works of art that are not currently on view in exhibitions. There it spans an opening through which moisture can be released from the rocks behind the house. The beam is reminiscent of the Spanish Armada, its wood is naturally impregnated by salt water. The high camp is also a reference to local architecture. In the Middle Ages, the Florentine merchants kept their wool warehouses in high storages that were difficult to access; this architecture can still be found today in the nearby town of Morella.
Just as merchants kept their fine wool for the fashion world of young Italy back then, we are now storing the artifacts from the many exhibitions in the CASAdelDRAGON in just such high storage.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) was almost finished when the expansion of the gallery began. The just discovered teraquarks turn physics on its head, or on its feet, depending on how you see it.
The scientific accompaniment of the narrative of the pandemic has raised the question in large parts of the population as to what knowledge was drawn there and for what purpose.

Just as dark energy and the vacuum catastrophe are affecting the current world view of physics, the academic world loses its footing when it entered the stage of politics. The simultaneity of contradicting theories as the basis for the acquisition of knowledge is the grail around which science should dance. When you enter the arena there are games and bread, but no space for discourse and contradiction. The only thing that counts is thumbs up or down. Anyone who reduces research results to fundraising becomes a dancing bear. Digital amnesia is longed for in the next few years. But whoever has forgotten cannot forgive either.


Applying plaster to the wall is a magical moment. Before that, the eye is caught by all the cracks, different colors, bumps and artifacts from water and electrical installations. The eye sees this unfinished for years. Then one day a miracle happened. The loosely piled up becomes a unit, the space becomes visible and tangible. The acoustics change. A dark tone becomes sound. A space is a body. Just as bacteria inhabit our intestines, we inhabit these spaces. The interaction between space and residents should not be underestimated.

We were just in our twenties when we made the decision to rebuild an old house in the mountains of eastern Spain. The young life wanted to gain space. This room should be the basis for the new life that the room works out in order to fill it with ideas, projects, dreams and wishes. The gain in space quickly turned into an expansion of knowledge. It was the realization that this space was not borne by the builders, there was no atlas that makes room for the biosphere, there were countless helpers and preparers, there was this 700-year-old history of this building, which was newly developed , from a new generation with new ideas, from a ragged troop of enthusiasts who celebrated what they did every day.

The house was known in the village as “Old Mary’s House”. At the beginning of the 19th century it would be inhabited by a family dedicated to the wine trade. The word Parras in the street name is a reminder of this. The old Maria saw the beginning of the renovation of the house herself and visited us regularly. Even with walking disabilities, it was her concern to see how the house was rebuilt. The old people in the village encouraged us to keep going. Life in the house also means life in the village. They proudly led tourists to the house of the dragon. And so we realized. It wasn’t our house, it was the house of the village and its residents and visitors, and even during the reconstruction phase it was a guest house for all the helpers. The dragon winding around the fireplace has given the house a new dedication. He is looking towards the center of Europe, to the northeast, and he knows why.


Our friend Jo was sitting in the kitchen and thinking about the lighting in the gallery.Sonia plastered a wall for the first time in her life. Juan erects a pillar to support an arch as part of a niche that will house fuse boxes and other electronics.

The preparations for the first exhibition were of a very fundamental nature. When rebuilding the house, we could not pay so much attention to the ground floor. It served as a warehouse for all the building materials. The CASAdelDRAGON consists of three separate buildings. The passage between the two larger parts has been completely rebuilt and also received a new lintel.


The professional production of the broken tiles, the further processing and the finish, in many places the hardworking helpers have left their manual traces.

Colorful mosaics are installed in many places in the house. The visitors begin to smile and if they stay longer, some hesitantly ask whether they could also make such a broken tile mosaic.
The production is basically simple, the material science is clear. For some, the magic of contemplative action opens up. You sink into your flow and the hand finds the next piece without consciously thinking about it beforehand.
Despite the urgency of the approaching date of the opening, there is room in the CASAdelDRAGON, especially for young people to experience this for themselves.


So it was ambitious to finish this arch. But it was also intended as a framework and stage to later present the art in an appropriate way.

Over the past 14 years, more than 40 exhibitions have taken place in the CASAdelDRAGON. The decision on the day of the first opening was made in mid-2003, about three and a half years earlier.

An event does not take place when everyone has finished. It takes place when the guests arrive.

Juan Petry

When we spread the news that we were going to open a gallery in a village in the mountains of Castellon, away from the big metropolises or major sights, we were smiled at by some. It would certainly not pay off, we were prophesied. But of course it would be nice to have such a place of international art nearby. And it is a social place of encounter, with the culture, with the guests and artists, with the village, the landscape and with oneself.
The power of the place can be felt. The walls seem to have recorded all the stories, conversations and encounters, keep them calm and slowly and steadily pass them on to new visitors. The building, as part of the village architecture, is a completely arched, classical, physical place. You can g**gle CASAdelDRAGON and find this and many other articles and photos, but you can only experience the atmosphere and the feeling if you come and visit this place.

Those who think differently these days can be assigned to two groups. There are those who are wrestling for the attention of the masses in the same virtual places. In the charm of the shaky smartphone videos, you get intoxicated by access, length of stay and screen time. But there are also others who seem to have withdrawn into private life, who stay quiet, not out of worry or fear, but because it corresponds to their nature. They practice patience and persist in their cause, they prepare for new guests and stay in the physical. They continue to orientate themselves towards real encounters, they draw their messages from the visible mouths of their counterparts. They keep their distance to injustice, violence and propaganda.


The gallery has many niches and corners in which material can be stored or objects of art can be displayed. And again the plaster creates the feeling for the room.

Just as medicine is currently soaring towards increasingly daring theories, so is physics, too, and biology will follow suit in the years to come. The established professional opinion assumed that the DNA ultimately determines all processes in the cell and thus the organism and, to a certain extent, its social interaction with similar species. What the mRNA represents for biologists, the quarks are in physics. The desire to be able to describe the phenomena of the world in a unified theory is the longing for the truth, the true, which can and should be considered safe. Defending established opinion stands in the way of knowledge. To paraphrase the philosopher Popper, there is certainty only in the proof of inaccuracy.


The gallery’s high storey is also getting valuable plastering. The floor of this art storage room was tiled by Oliver. He had already set up many exhibition stands in his life. His motto was: There is still something going on!

The plaster on the walls and ceilings of the gallery is based on marble dust, a waste product from the surrounding marble works. This dust is mixed with white cement and mineral paints. A light blue has been chosen for the ceilings. On the one hand, most visitors feel attracted by this color above them; on the other hand, this choice supports the color fastness of the works on display. The beige of the walls is reminiscent of the predominant stone of these old walls. The plaster has remained unchanged over the years, breathable and neutral with regard to the art on display.

In general, it can be observed in the sciences that computer-based simulation replaces field observation. To do this, the complexity of the issue has to be reduced, especially where no measured values can be incorporated. Many medical statements today are based on simulations. The economization of the sciences inevitably leads to a conflict of interests. Assumptions can become certainties in the interests of the sponsors.
As in all belief systems, the high priests are trained who, because of their professionalism, preach the faith and do not tolerate contradiction. The objection outside of the subject is rejected as it is. The ranks of the elite in the certainty of their interpretive authority becomes a bulwark for those who think differently. All power emanates from the people, but it does not seem to return there. The educated elites have rarely shaped the citizens’ movements, their sons and daughters very much.


Old clay tiles found their place in this wall. We had pulled them out of the beach and collected them in many visits to the sea. It was a funny picture as we got out of the cars with construction buckets and beach mats in Vinaros. We found our treasures in the rubble. The old people watched us and knew what we were doing.

One thing is secretly doing good things. You lose energy. The other is to do good things under the eyes of witnesses. You might get energy. Maybe that’s why we invent the angels on their clouds as children. To be able to imagine that someone is looking at us when we are doing the good things is reassuring. For many people, the CASAdelDRAGON and its guests are eyewitnesses. Of course this is not a house of angels. But it likes to send energy to team up with those who do the good things. Many healing professions also do the good things to get rid of the pain of the past. They see their good as confirmation of their ability to overcome the evil. Those who visit the House of the Dragon learn quickly … these people will simply carry on their tragedies.

When people find that they feel balanced when they do the good or when they don’t do the good… then … and only then … their release begins. When they see they have to, they must, they are still locked in their story. Otherwise they give food to what there are working against. If people are sure that they have no reason … then they could let the good things happen around them.


Six days before the first exhibition opening, the floor of the gallery still looked like this. Many friends and neighbors from the village shook their heads and said we couldn’t possibly manage that: to finish and to open the gallery on time.

Creating a place of positive energy requires the donation of this energy. Sometimes more than 20 people were working in all the places in the house the last few days before the first opening. Back then, we cut the last few weeks, days and hours together in a photomontage. The original video is lost, but a remake with original photos has been published (“las ultimas horas“).


Like every construction site in life, the construction of the gallery was a logistical challenge. The place of the action was warehouse, workshop and construction site in one.

Just as the reconstruction of the CASAdelDRAGON was a joint effort over many years, the creation of the gallery is also thanks to teamwork.
Leaders in particular often do not realize how little they can create on their own. The fragmentation of society, lamented by many, the promise of salvation in the individual approach, the dogmas of Western values have all contributed to anchoring people in their isolation. The natural experience of the physical, the manual work, they have given way to the screen time. The emptiness sets in when they meet for a beer and really they start only the z**m.


The stairs were built and used daily. The organic railing was built from reinforcement iron, rabbit wire, mortar and white tile adhesive.

The story of the building of the gallery was and remains the story of its builders. It was thanks to their dedication, their courage, and their perseverance that this work could be completed. There was tremendous power and strength in working together for the common goal. We experienced and enjoyed this time as a community. At this point in time there was still no talk of FamiliaFeliz. But the will to found our decentralized community seven years later was also borne by the memory of this time.


Six hours before the opening: Antje fills stones from the river bed into the showcases that are embedded in the floor.

These showcases offer a very unusual perspective on the works of art. And many people, standing unintentionally on the bulletproof glass became frightened and backed away immediately. But anyone who has this experience is burned by the appearance of the work of art insode the showcase… forever.


A power strip, a HQI spotlight, a test lamp (defective), the light does not come on – find the fault – one minute before “door open”.

Work continued until the last hour. A problem with the lighting installlation put into question the achievement of the goal in the last few minutes. More than 100 guests were already waiting in front of the door, curious what had become of this project, interested in the art and the view into another world.


The first exhibition had the title Amigos en Arte, this was to be followed by more under the same title. After a few minutes, the first work of art was sold to an English test pilot and art collector.

With the opening, three and a half years of preparation came to an end. Again it was time to say goodbye to an era and venture into the unknown of the new.
A short while ago the sound of hammer and chisel could be heard, the groan of the cement mixer boomed through the empty rooms. Now it was dedicated to the voices of the visitors who turned their eyes to the art. A short while ago it was still the dust of the construction site in the mouth, now the palate enjoyed the champagne.

In 2020/2021 the gallery showed the exhibition las ultimas horas. It spans many of the exhibitions that have taken place in the gallery in the years since it first opened. The works of art are telling the story of the gallery. They are also telling the story of the artists who created them. The photos in this article are telling the story of the last hours before the first opening, and they are also telling the story of the helpers who made all this possible.

After reading this article, some may wonder what the connection is between the architectural history of a gallery, the creation of a social space, the experience of a temporary community in action for a common goal, the paradigm shift in the sciences, the agony of old and the dawn of the new media.

As always, the key lies in the human itself, and the memory of a particular person may help with that.

It is the boundless love for people, the respect and attention, the quiet but powerful work from the second row, what has distinguished people like Heide Brandt. She was able to give her communities a center, a point of reference in navigating their own lives. She was there for the others, and enough for herself. She endured, carried and contributed. She listened carefully, motivated and encouraged. She was a friend of contemporary and modern art, a collector of selected prints and drawings, she was a teacher for all of us. Heide had accompanied the reconstruction of the CASAdelDRAGON over the years, sometimes from a distance, sometimes on site. Of course, she was there in the last few hours before the first opening.


Heide passed away in early April of 2021. This article is dedicated to her.

The greater Reset 2

the greater reset - video panel to amplify positive thoughts for a better future
the greater reset – video panel to amplify positive thoughts for a better future

Alternative living communities are currently receiving many inquiries from people who have voluntarily or involuntarily broken away from old relationships in their local sociaties. They are looking for inspiration and functional approaches to organize human coexistence in a new, different and more social way. As a community, we started Sunday Conversations and gather people online who want to join communities, who intend to start communities, and people who have had community experience and those who are currently in living in community. The focus is international, an important aspect is the necessary cooperation among the communities.

Familiafeliz – The greater Reset Panel #2 – Part 1 (external link!)

Familiafeliz – The greater Reset Panel #2 – Part 2 (external link!)

Community networking II – Wales, Galicia, Castellon

community networking II. – a connection between Wales, Galicia and Castellon

Now is the time to show solidarity. Now is the time to realistically assess your own resources and conditions. Now is the time to build strong bonds between intentional communities and their members. This European dialogue – as a simple sample of backstage activities – is an indication of the challenges and opportunities in working together over a distance.

And it also has special symbolic power thanks to protagonists from three continents. Global, regional and local conditions form the basis of the very personal decisions people make to migrate and to bind themselves to new places. Those who do not lose contact with their tribe, wherever their paths lead, have a clear advantage.

Community networking II – published on rumble

Community networking – the way of the heart

networking between FamiliaFeliz (Germany/Spain) and Sekier (Slovakia)

We are sure that the current crisis in 2020-2022 is a crisis of humanity. The question of how people organize themselves, which instruments they invent and use to dominate and control others, what kind of foresight they have in the process, was raised. Now we are at a turning point again, and many are not aware that it was and is always a single, eternal turning point. Networking as a social act to explore the future together in open dialogue is a good deed. It is not in the interests of those who want to rule. But it helps to endure their actions. The networking of people is one thing, the networking of tribes and clans is another. We need both. And we invite everyone to discover and enjoy this WE.

When people discover beautiful places, they often think about the times when these places were created. The visitors imagine how nice it must have been, to have been there in the phase of establishment and development. The people would have liked to be contemporary witnesses. They enjoy the results, but they assume, the brave beginning was certainly even better. It is very human to think that way. It is still a fallacy.

We are always there when something new is created, we are always the impetus, protagonist, witness or co-founder of what we call the future. Just as the flap of the butterfly’s wings today may cause tomorrow’s storm, so we are constantly sowing what others will harvest in the future.

Grace is not what allows us to be there. The grace is to realize that we are there. Most people motivate themselves for the present with their vision of the future. There inner gaze precedes their hands. And they don’t pay attention to the NOW.

When people look back, their actions often seem sensible or pointless. It is because of whether they can easily lay a thread through the times, looking back. Those who have a positive attitude emphasize the positive things that happened along the way. That is a good thing, but it remains arbitrary. History is written by the winner, in this case by the protagonist himself.
At the same time, many regret not having been there. People today look at the artifacts of the making of their fellow human beings. They balance themselve (one) against the others (many).

In large projects, people then speak of the founding fathers and degrade themselves to children or grandchildren. It will perhaps be a sign of the times – in retrospect, that people are reorganizing into tribes. The modern world of work and its sequencing and specialization have brought people together in teams. In quarantine at home it now becomes clear that these communities of purpose do not have any common values ​​and that these teams dissolve immediately when the purpose disappears. The colleagues were mistaken for their own tribe.
Now most of them are retreating into isolation, but some are also opening up and looking for connections or they are founding new tribes.

It remains important to avoid the echo chambers along the way. The cancel culture lets us fall back into our own bubble and it is up to us to leave it again and again. Communicate with those who think differently. It helps.

And again we are in the middle of the present. When we become aware, we can recognize: we are involved in the restructuring and new building of society and we can enjoy it, as actors, as contemporary witnesses, as participants. Networking the tribes consolidates the sustainability of their survival.

Some thoughts about networking between communities – more on

Today is the birthday of one of the co-founders of FamiliaFeliz. She was and is a pillar of our community and we look to her, when we want to know, where roughly the middle is! Happy birthday, Antje.

Color garden memories

FamiliaFeliz - color garden memories
FamiliaFeliz – color garden memories

In a magical place magical things happen. The garden of colors, the campus for informal education of FamiliaFeliz, is a place to enjoy. Again and again this space releases the creative potential of the visitors and transforms them into the actors, the protagonists, the designers, the facilitaters of happiness. The garden becomes a stage, a canvas, a building site, an exhibition space and a memory of an idea: in the garden of Epicurus, all people are equal. Unintentionally they give themselves joy in looking at, using and building. They often pick up the thread that others have laid before them, they continue to spin it for the next to come. They meet in their deeds, across time and space. And they take something with them in their hearts, to have experienced themselves in an all-encompassing WE.

We proudly present: Mosaicologists of CASAdelDRAGON

Happy birthday Corinna !

HORA – Danish NGO – a change for youth in Castellon and many other regions in Europe

FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON - Castellon 2017 - welcome!
FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON – Castellon 2017 – welcome!

This is a story of youth from Romania. This is a story of a social entrepreneur in the house of the dragon. This is the story of a beautiful and brave village in Castellon. This is the story of a founder of a summer school in the little village Ciocănești close to Bucharest. And this is a story of success.

FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON – Castellon 2017 – Sorina (left)

FamiliaFeliz was visited in 2016 from Sorina. She decided to make a travel through different communities in Europe for her master thesis in social entrepreneurship in Copenhagen. She visited with a collegue CASAdelDRAGON to study the special arrangements of our decentralized living community. At the end of her visit she was very well connected to our ideas and principles and she said: “It would be a dream for my kids from the summerschool in Romania, if they could come to this place. Its magic, the village, the people, the kindness, the peace, and the opportunities for youth in the artist color garden of CASAdelDRAGON.”

Our answer was short: “Lets make it happen…!”

FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON - Castellon 2017 - Serban
FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON – Castellon 2017 – Serban

Less than 10 month later Serban, the president of a little NGO in Ciocănești (a village close to Bucharest) was sitting on the terrasse in the house of the dragon and said: “I can not belive, its true.”

Sorina took the risk to pay out of her private budget the flights for a group of youth, FamiliaFeliz organised travels inside of Spain and accomodation and food.

FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON - Castellon 2017 - Font de Salut
FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON – Castellon 2017 – Font de Salut

For nearly all of the youth it was the first time out of their country, it was the first flight, the first bath in the mediterranean sea, the first trip without parents, the first immersion in a new language, a different culture and a life in an open house with lots of art and music.

The irrepressible will to take in as much as possible, to enjoy as much as possible and to share the joy with everyone in the village was evident every minute.

FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON - Castellon 2017 - team meeting
FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON – Castellon 2017 – team meeting

The youth prepared an activity for the local school, a social art project in the color garden of CASAdelDRAGON.

FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON - Castellon 2017 -  local school
FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON – Castellon 2017 – local school

Sorina co-organised before and after many youth activities in Romania and Juan form FamiliaFeliz joined the team in Bucharest to realise some workshops for trainers, teachers and the management (game of life) of the summer school, also workshops (trencadis, catering) for youth of the region in the following years.

Sorina finshed her studies and started an NGO in Copenhagen, called HORA, related to a traditional Romanian folk dance in which the dancers hold each other’s hands and the circle usually rotates counterclockwise as each participant follows a sequence of three steps forward and one step back. The greek routs of the word are related to circle, singing an celebrating.

Four years later Sorina knocked on the door of CASAdelDRAGON again, and explored in a video panel the possibilities to invite, FamiliaFeliz, the village of Cervera del Maestre and the youth of the region, to participate in international youth projects in the future.

The panel is published on rumble here.

FamiliaFeliz as an open think tank for new social art movements and CASAdelDRAGON as a cultural spot in the region of El Maestrat in Castellon confirmed support to the new NGO in Copenhagen, founded by Sorina on Christmas 2020.

You can follow HORA on social media (1,2).

As menioned before, this is a story of youth from Romania. This is a story of a social entrepreneur in the house of the dragon. This is the story of a beautiful and brave village in Castellon. This is the story of a founder of a summer school in the little village Ciocănești close to Bucharest. And the best… the story is true.

Familiafeliz – how to find the right community

how to find the right community – podcast on

In early 2021 FamiliaFeliz received a message from Eric, a belgium father of a daugther, interested in community life. He explained that the original project was to set up a ecovillage project in eastern Spain. Surprisingly he was working on this project in the neighbour village since 3 years and we never met.

In his request he pointed out, that there was a second family from the netherlands and they also like the idea to put roots in the soul of “El Maestrazgo”, the region around us.

We confirmed a chat all together and you can listen the audio record. We added some photos of spring 2020 to underline the reality of a living community in these times. All photos are taken between march and june 2020 in Cervera del Maestre in the CASAdelDRAGON and the color garden.

How to find the right community – podcast 2 – 2021 – on rumble

How to find the right community – podcast 3 – 2021 – on rumble – Part II.

FamiliaFeliz – first podcast in 2021

FamiliaFeliz – first podcast on in 2021

Based on government restrictions for many people social media becomes more and more important. To flaten the curve of requests we decided to offer more video- and audio-content online for people interested in our community life.

Actually people are moving from cities to the countryside, from flats with balkonies to garden areas with tiny houses and from industrial areas to rural remote places. A lot of people ar working now in home office and even digital workers don’t see a return to the office in a short time.

We hope these podcast might help to navigate a little bit on the way to approach FamiliaFeliz.

deframing living comunity myths on

Living in an unintentional living community


FamiliaFeliz is a decentralized community with a common economy. We share the idea of creating a social place for individual freedom and individual happiness. Analogous to Epicurus, we run a garden as the campus of a free university for informal education. It is our concern to give the visitors a peaceful space in which they can first find peace and then the strength to pursue their own ideas and projects. Social togetherness as the result of an individual decision, without a specific goal, without foresight, without benchmarks, it sounds like an invitation to paradise that is too good and many people doubt that it is possible to realize the coexistence of people in this world in this way.

unintentional-living-community - visitors from all over the world
unintentional-living-community – visitors from all over the world

Even if it is rather unrealistic for most, people from all over the world have found their way to a small village in Castellon, a mountainous province in eastern Spain, for the last seven years.
They come for very different reasons. Some want to get to know the country and people in an alternative way, others are looking for community and want to experience themselves as part of a community. Most of them just want to test what it would be like to live in a community, some have a firm resolution.

unintentional-living-community - connected to the nature
unintentional-living-community – connected to the nature

Some come to the garden of colors, the artists’ laboratory, to find peace and quiet, to leave stress and work and perhaps worries behind. They are looking for closeness to nature, they want to slow down.

Still others come to be inspired by the special conditions in our community. We are very different from most existing communities, especially in the way we make decisions in the group and how we organize ourselves as members of the community. Our relationship with those who do not belong to the narrow core of our community also differs from that of most of the designs role out.

unintentional-living-community - be at peace with yourself
unintentional-living-community – be at peace with yourself

Most visitors have no experience of community life. They project all desires and hopes onto the places they visit. Often they are disappointed or unsure and move on in the hope of finding better places, better people, better surroundings and better help and support for themselves. Some have been on the road for 20 years and still haven’t found the place to build roots, to make peace with what is realistic.
Most visitors have high expectations and at the same time assume that one will also have high expectations of them. This is how they want to prove themselves at the beginning, clearly show their value for the community, they just want to be good.

unintentional-living-community - a personal challenge
unintentional-living-community – a personal challenge

They are very surprised that we define very, very few conditions for how they should behave in our community. They don’t understand that we have no expectations about their way of working, their leadership or support, their contribution to the social life of our community. They ask about fixed working and leisure times, about rules (washing, cleaning, cooking) and they ask for clear instructions on what to do, when, where, and how. When we tell them to calm down first, they don’t have to do anything, they could just be there for now, that would be enough, then they become insecure and doubt about us, about our success, and about themselves . We know how society has shaped us all, how it conditions us. We have to show performance, be useful, be successful. We strive for recognition, attention and respect. Nothing can be got for free. Only the hard-working fellow man gets happiness. The performance must be above average, and it must be permanent. But that’s not how nature works, and that’s not how FamiliaFeliz works either. Weaning out of the rat race of the neoliberal performance society is a process. It takes time to really slow down. For most visitors, it is a bottomless fall into the unknown, the creation of (apparent) values. Those who survive this time will be rewarded. The visitor finds his individual ground under his feet, lives on and is happy. He sees himself. And then he sees FamiliaFeliz with completely different eyes, and falls again, without support, without hope, much lower than before.

unintentional-living-community - on the edge of reason
unintentional-living-community – on the edge of reason

Many visitors ask us, why we don’t sell anything. You can see how unfinished the projects are, how amateurish we often start, how slowly things develop. Then they want to improve, optimize, accelerate. And again, they look into our mild faces and suspect that it will go much further downhill. They remember our words: everything important in life cannot be bought, so why money? Yes but… It is and remains a long way, like that of a pilgrim. And we cannot accompany our visitors, but we welcome them with joy at their destination.

unintentional-living-community - life in the here and now
unintentional-living-community – life in the here and now

It is easier for children, who find their way to us with their parents. They are living in the moment, they are still connected, with nature, the world, and themselfs. In this way, they show us the way into the we, into the community, that accepts them as they are. Many adults also find their way back there, to such a view and perception of their environment. Then the real journey begins, a journey with themselves in this new world.

unintentional-living-community - lunch time for our romanian friends
unintentional-living-community – lunch time for our romanian friends

Only then is the view free for the community that does not stage itself, that surrenders to making and pursuing one’s own wishes. Then community becomes the stage for your own play, your own staging. Then the other’s piece becomes a pleasant backdrop for your own piece. Then the togetherness arises without compulsion from the dynamic, and not as an intention, pressure or necessity.

unintentional-living-community - the dream of self-sufficiency
unintentional-living-community – the dream of self-sufficiency

Many visitors are dreaming of having the chance to produce their own food in communities. They also often believe that we are naturally – in a very natural way – self-sufficient in our community. These are myths, and they are also part of the learning curve of recognizing that this is only possible to a limited extent in today’s society. On the one hand it is a question of resources (seeds, know-how, land, climate), on the other hand it is also a project of individual people. It is not automatically the case that everyone who is interested in community life also wants to work in agriculture.

unintentional-living-community - the pleasure of taste
unintentional-living-community – the pleasure of taste

In recent years there have always been individual roommates or visitors who wanted to implement exactly this project. Mariella, Clara and Franscesca were outstanding. These three will always be remembered as the true heroes of the garden of colors, with their irrepressible will to obtain food, for their brood, for all of us. In seven years we have seen three attempts to cultivate the garden more intensively. All three have moved on, now the garden is at rest. Nature remains. And the infrastructure invites the next visitor to carry on. But it remains his individual decision. FamiliaFeliz can have the place ready to create and use a garden, but it is not looking for employees for a self-catering farm.

unintentional-living-community - courageously leave the cage
unintentional-living-community – courageously leave the cage

There is no recipe how to do it right, neither for the individual in search of community nor for the community in search of the individual new fellow human being. We do not offer any integration courses or workshops, nor do we stage rituals. We see the step into a community more than the step of the individual and it has its very own direction and speed. And the closer he gets to our community, the sooner he will recognize that with his appearance, this community changes, helps to shape and thus also redefines the center. We distinguish ourselves with reference to a non-intentional community. What confuses some, for us it is the key to sustainability. We do not consider community as a demarcation and united in the goal to be sustainable.

unintentional-living-community – failing successfully – and failing better afterwards

So FamiliaFeliz is not about integration, not about adaptation. We see every person as an opportunity to change, to reinvent ourselves, to enjoy new impulses in our diversity and to share this pleasure with those who find their way to us. Some ask us what FamiliaFeliz stands for, what it embodies. They ask us whether we want to change the world, whether we want to participate in the new and better shaping of society. They ask about goals. But what is the goal of nature? What is the goal of a tree?

Viane rightly said that people live in belief systems and they invent them in order to navigate their lifes. The agreement with the environment creates security, the common ritual calms and socializes. The human being is a social animal, it searches for the opposite in order to perceive himself. The child seeks in the stranger’s face the indication of willingness to play together, that is enough for him. It does not ask about values and beliefs and political attitudes. As people socialized in society, we are asked to look for roles, to defend these roles because of their privileges, and to derive rights from ownership and to remind others of their responsibilities in their other roles.

unintentional-living-community – time…

If you don’t have to reach a daily goal, you have time. So there are also in society those who have the time, i.e. who give the time and those who want or have to work their way out of time.
Now it is not that one of us does not set tasks and challenges for ourselves, but we do not transfer these to the others around us. Above all, we do not ask for their help in achieving our own goals. So we usually meet in peace, at mealtimes together. Then we have time. We can listen.

Veith, father of three children, asked us questions at the beginning of 2021. We recorded the conversation and published it on Maybe that answers some of your questions too.

unintentional-living-community - overcome the division - feel the social closeness
unintentional-living-community – overcome the division – feel the social closeness

Whatever art means – be creative

On his trip to Germany, our member Juan met the activist, journalist and text artist Andreas in Bad Münstereifel, a small town with a beautiful historic city center. After a long night and many conversations with interested citizens about a better future, they both agreed to meet for an interview in the German home unit of FamiliaFeliz.

The interview was conducted and recorded in German.

A written version and translation into English is planned, but requires the involvement of third parties ( Please get in touch if this topic addresses you and you could do this work! ).

whatever art means - be creative
whatever art means – be creative

Recorded in Windeck, Germany 2020 | Copyright (c) Andreas