Category Archives: sculpture garden

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.

Common memories of a community #2

Common memories of a community – as time goes by…

The first impression in the human environment is dominated by the hearing, the second by the optics, then comes the smell and the touch, and the taste may be internalized as the most intimate in the truest sense. May this be the case offline, some senses are lost in social media. Very much we are focused on visual information.

The most frequently accessed page of our website is the front page. And the first impression is more of a visual one. Instead of choosing a picture as a substitute in the hope, that it would convey all the emotion and truth about the real situation of our community, we decided on a picture montage that we update at irregular intervals and thus also lay an optical thread through the events.

The picture that has accompanied us through the last few years becomes history and takes with it all the stories behind it. Here the place is to pause for a moment and remember some stories and their protagonists.

  1. Two young Spanish woman are planting trees in the color garden. In the third session again we planted more than 100 fruit trees in various locations. In a monoculture environment (olive, carob, almond) only a few fruit trees are planted, mostly as a food supplement for family and friends. Our strategy of planting as many trees as possible as early as possible is provoking misunderstanding from some neighbors. One farmer summed it up: You are already that old. Why are you still planting so many young trees? The answer was easy for us: For the children of your children.
    As non-professionals in agriculture, we were initially surprised at how fragmented knowledge was distributed among the local population. But nobody dared to do anything new, nobody questioned anything. FamiliaFeliz’s planting campaigns are an expression of the joy of exploring which varieties and varieties are opening up new alternatives for local production. The crisis in 2020-2022 made clear the need to look locally for solutions for food production. No matter how small our contribution will be over the next 100 years, there will be a garden in Cervera del Maestre where people can collect fruit when they can no longer look after it.
  2. Abejas de amor is a bee project and reflects the situation of these insects, the market and the health situation of insect and customer. The pandemic effect had amplified all the unsustainability in global economy, but this sector was already suffering before. The problem with the bees is the beekeeper, not the pesticide. This sentence is certainly a provocation. It is surprising that in Spain Glyphosate is used for weed control – what a word – at the roadsides. In the rural area around Cervera del Maestre, large industrial agriculture has never paid off thanks to small terraces and so the use of plant toxins is not so widespread. But near the sea in the huge flat orange groves, airplanes are still sometimes used today. Most beekeepers have moved further and further inland with their colonies. The tough competition turns the full beehive into a commodity for dealers, and many colonies are stolen. A friend lost 25 colonies at one location in one night (value among dealers 150 – 200 euros, with 60 kg of honey and 30,000 bees in the box). This criminal energy also always needs an addressee, and that has to be a beekeeper who does not want to know exactly where these colonies come from, that are being offered to him. But this is not the place to judge beekeepers, especially small and part-time businesses fight with love and passion for a better world for the bees. But as everywhere where the economy finds its way, it displaces knowledge, reason and sustainability. The Abejas de amor project is about offering bees a habitat without having to exploit them economically. The aim is to gain varroa (varroa destructor) populations and to promote renaturation of the bees. That can only be done far from the market and money. The color garden is one of many locations in the area to host bee hives and to focus on solutions to go with the nature more than against it.
  3. One old and wise farmer put it in simple terms. Philippe once said: Carob, that was the oil of the Middle Ages. The Maestrazgo has always been very rich in this type of tree and it is a real pleasure to be able to spend your siesta under a carob tree in the hot afternoon. Its crown offers protection from the sun, its fruit tastes good to people and animals, and its wood is warm in winter. And its germs pacify even the diamond dealers.
    FamiliaFeliz has started to collect the carob and give it to the local cooperative. The attempt to alleviate the feed shortage in northern Europe and to send the carob was unsuccessful. There were none interested. A few kilograms are enough for our own use, in 2018/2019 we collected the first 2 tons, in 2019/2020 we are just over the first ton. We can only achieve this thanks to the tireless helpers, the money goes to our social youth and educational projects.
  4. The color garden with its more than 4 hectares and numerous terraces offers very different goals for learning, staying and working. There are signposts so that you don’t always answer the same questions. The project started in 2018. In the following time new signs were added again and again. The infrastructure is growing.
    A signpost is also a symbol of orientation. Just as in the small that is shown the way, it also gives orientation in life. And that is one of the most important tasks of this garden, providing orientation in life, not as a requirement, but as an offer.
  5. In 2017 and 2018 there was a time with children and young adults in the CASAdelDRAGON. Community was easy to experience. Some projects where realized. People have moved on, some have started the way back to the life they came from and that they actually wanted to leave. Others have settled in Cervera themselves, founded their own Familiafeliz and connected with the country and its people. So the village has grown, the large relaxed community of Cervera del Maestre and now and then the children still find their way into the garden of colors, to paint, to play and for one or the other piece of pizza.
  6. The development of the Art Camp as part of the color garden took up a lot of space. The infrastructure of toilets, showers, cooking and catering areas made it possible to welcome 56 young people and adults as guests. After that, the place was often used for meetings and workshops. And shortly after commissioning, art also discovered and conquered the new areas and rooms. This gives the area of the garden its character. As you can see from the new cover photo, this will also be a long process that will keep generating new ideas and solutions.
  7. Imagine you return to Europe, to the places of your ancestors. You get a bike for free and earn the money for the trip. You are driving from northern Europe to the south of Portugal. You are on a journey, to your roots, and to yourself. A place like FamiliaFeliz is just one stop. You leave a lasting impression, there is room in the heart. Letting go as a sign of Love.
    From the perspective of some visitors, the CASAdelDRAGON is a place of constant change, and fatigue and insecurity often spread as a result. For others it is a great gift to get to know so many such important people, it is also called LIFE.
  8. Hidden between many arrows, the reference to the “bar of all reason” appears. This is a typical German-language play on words and describes a bar on the one hand and a place beyond all common sense on the other. The bar itself is still fiction, but the prospect of its opening in 2021 is not small. What began with Julien’s mushroom cultivation as an Erasmus funded school project will take shape. The Art Camp also needs a hospitable place to stay. With the “bar of all reason” we are addressing a typical Spanish phenomenon. A large part of the social takes place in public spaces, as long as it does not concern family or closest friends. The bar is an integral part of social life. But it is always tied to being liquid and being able to afford the coffee. The decline of the economy was already before Corona, and will certainly be accompanied by a loss of purchasing power for the common population for many years afterwards. This means that these social places can no longer be reached. The aim of this social sculpture is to create a new space of opposition that is not driven by the money economy. Rather, the guest is invited to bring something to eat, on condition that it is shared with those who are also there. The bar of reason provides a space in which guest and host are united.
  9. You can build walls or build bridges. The results are different. This bridge was built by students from Halle and crosses the acequia, a medieval sewer that runs through the color garden. It was built by 3 women who have used hammer and nail for the first time in their lives, all of them older than 22 years. The intense experience of nature has also built a bridge in their hearts. The more theoretical training in biology got the desire for the physical experience to the side. Anyone who crosses the acequia is grateful for this bridge. And he will have access to the sculpture garden, where the first works are under construction.
  10. In the midst of the pandemic in 2020-2022, some where wondering what the government’s exit strategy might look like and realized to their surprise that there might never be one.
    The signposts in the color garden also show the way back. And at one point, back is just another direction.
  11. The CASAdelDRAGON is very often in the foreground when we report on our community. But in addition to our homeunit in Cervera, we have a second home, in Windeck near Cologne in Germany. This place is more in the background but no less important or significant. And there, too, the art and creativity are visible in many places. The tile fragments connect these places, like the people who worked on them. And these also convey stories of events and people who have accompanied us.

This is the second article about our cover images. The first you will find here. If you want to be part of these movement and these histories in times of reconstruction, think about a visit and apply for joining one of our next activities.

Nicaragua next door – En Dios confiamos

Madga from Romania points to Nicaragua
Madga from Romania points to Nicaragua

In the middle of the hardest lock down measures in Spain our living community was invited to participate in an international project initiated by Global Ecovillage Network (GEN). Out of hundreds proposals and based on similar characteristics on our reality as a living community we where selected and linked to a project based in Nicaragua.

This is the story about a man who had never seen India and a story about a militant theologian and revolutionary and a story about two expats and their vision of community and a story about informal education, neoliberal hubris and the second sentence of thermodynamics.

at the border of communication - the hidden champions
at the border of communication – the hidden champions

It is also a story about the ability to relate, to bind, to be humble and to love.

Nicaragua is the land of a thousand volcanoes, a very fertile area between Honduras and Costa Rica, hard hit by Spanish and British colonialism, shaken by wars up to modern times and deeply divided in its camps: large landowners versus rural population, village versus city, poor versus rich. Like a sleeping magma chamber, Nicaragua is waiting for the outbreak of the next civil war in order to get rid of the tension of unresolved land ownership claims and yet only to pile up new suffering in its own history. There is a rural exodus, but at the same time there is also a great opportunity in this crisis. After the colonial rulers and the capital oligarchs came free thinkers, hippies and dropouts. But, as in modern Spain, there were also committed young people from the north who wanted to create a different, new reality for their families, children and themselves. Some came with weapons, others with ideas, some were interested in efficient harvesting, others in learning and sharing knowledge.

In a first video panel we exchanged some personal information and we dived into a brief conversation of what could be a real sustainable exchange between our two communities. We decided to explore the chance to route some knowledge about old Latin American native technologies back to its source, Terra Preta in combination with our infrastructure project in the art camp, which is part of the color garden in Cervera del Maestre.

FamiliaFeliz dry Toilet Project
FamiliaFeliz dry Toilet Project

To enjoy more lets step back a bit and have a look how the universe had put together this story inside of the story inside of the story.

In July 1502, on his fourth voyage, Christopher Columbus became the first European to set foot on the soil in this area. More interested in the sea route to India, he did not subdue the indigenous people. Gil Gonzalez caught up with that twenty years later and many indigenous people ended up as slaves in the mines of Peru.

The immeasurable accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few was initiated by the hunger for gold in the ancient world. Enslavement as a means of efficient exploitation of natural resources required the intellectual idea of ​​races and their differences, followed by their evaluation. What the mounted Europeans began, the ore, oil and finance barons completed in modern times. They left behind a severely decimated indigenous population and drove the impoverished farm workers to the metropolises to find cheap jobs in their factories and to service themselves.
Of course there have been riots to counter this blatant injustice, but as always, counter-violence is only a link in a chain of violence. After the large landowners were driven to the beaches of Miami, the land was given to the rural population without formal legal protection in land register titles. In the following counter-revolution, thanks to the corrupt judiciary, many won back their lands and the question of land ownership still hangs over the people like a sword of Damocles.

When the Portuguese under a Spanish flag set foot on the bottom of Nicaragua on the Rio San Juan, the geography appeared to be a hindrance when looking for the sea route to India. The Spanish crown recognized the potential of cheap labor all the more. The monk Bartolomé de Las Casas estimated the total population in 1552 to be less than 5,000, the rest of them had been expelled or murdered in barely 50 years in the slavery abroad. Imperial America also enjoyed the instability on its own doorstep and intervened as early as 1927. As so often, they installed Varsallen, in this case Anastasio Somoza. He invited his enemies to the last supper (1934-02-21) and put himself to power in 1937 against his uncle, whom he himself installed as president. The Somoza clan was to dominate the country for 42 years and even take advantage of natural disasters to enrich themselves. Even a murderous poet could not avert this. Cotton, gold and silver mines, felling of precious wood.

As strong as the pendulum swung to the right, it also picked up speed on the way to the left. The Sandinista under Ortega tried it with education, elevated Ernesto Cardenal to the position of minister of education and also used women’s rights as a unifying force. But they too were subject to the hubris of knowing better than their own people. What began with a forced relocation of 8,500 Miskito Indians ended with another exodus abroad. While the rich indulged in the villas on the beach in Miami, the poor decided to flee to neighboring Honduras or hired themselves out as illegals in the meat factories and plantations of the southern states of America.

Thomas Müntzer, qui pro veritate militat in mundo

A monk acknowledges his last sold in Zwickau

History has not only divided the population in their earthly values. The argument about true faith broke out in heaven too. So Nicaragua repeated what happened 500 years earlier in the county of Stolberg (Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation). While Columbus was looking up the Rio de San Juan, the theologian and reformer in Luther fan Müntzer stood in his print shop and sank about the syntax in high pressure to spread and implement his ideas, the dissolution of monasteries, space for the homeless, the dissolution of privileges for the nobility. From the pulpit of the Marienkirche, a church in Mühlhausen he led the peasants to the gates of Frankenhausen (old german cities), where they had their lives, he lost his and his head, first tortured and then beheaded in May 1525.
Before that, after studying for a long time, he had received his ordination, probably also because he was teaching as an assistant teacher in Halle an der Saale.

The Catholic Church had also lost ground in Nicaragua, with only 47% now professing this belief. Many free church initiatives share the task of getting their message across the majority. Again and again intellectuals got involved in politics and tried out their visions of a different Nicaragua, displaced by violence and arguments, in social projects. The Casas de los tres mundos, a book bus with literature by Berthold Brecht and the Musica en los Barrios are just examples.

The Global Ecovillage Network has now brought the community Nuestra finca sagrada from Nicaragua together with ours in Europe. Both are initiated by expats. Both are small, are preparing for new communards, relying on education and sharing, on closeness to nature and sustainable development, insofar as people can have a lasting effect at all.
Both prefer to recycle rather than buy, both want to combine country life with nature experience. Both share a desire for delicious, valuable and healthy food.

bio food - local - tasty - rich
bio food – local – tasty – rich

An both are sharing a more holistic way of seeing the world.

In the original Latin American communities, it was customary to pay tribute to the host after being invited to a meal together. With respect for the food served, one visited the host’s toilet after the meal to leave something valuable. The manure was covered with earth and pieces of coal and kept in clay pots in the absence of air for several months and then applied as black earth to the fields as fertilizer. The compost of the Incas still works today. The anaerobic bacteria find a safe habitat in the coal and in their fermentation process they digest and upcycle them over many years. What the indigenous people anchored in their culture was lost in Western societies. FamiliaFeliz has brought this knowledge back and has gained initial experience in the construction and operation of dry toilets in recent years.

Thomas Müntzer Highschool Halle/Saale
Thomas Müntzer Highschool Halle/Saale

Ironically, a high school from Halle, named after the theologian and revolutionary Müntzer, provided the opportunity to build two more toilets. As part of a new infrastructure for visitor groups of up to 60 people, in addition to showers, washing facilities and cooking areas, toilet houses were also built from old pallet timber.

Toilet construction site in the art camp
Toilet construction site in the art camp

Four concrete blocks and a wooden pallet form the basis. A wooden box was screwed onto it and a concrete slab in the front part (entrance) to weigh down the construction (wind, storm). The concrete blocks promote rapid drying of the cheap wood and prevent termite infestation.
The walls and roof are also made of pallet wood and a roof with tar paper protects the interior a little from rain.

Terra Preta Toilet - seat and soil deposite
Terra Preta Toilet – seat and soil deposit

A toilet seat is screwed onto the wooden box. Next to it there is an opening to make the earth coal mix accessible to cover. Feces, earth and coal are collected in hermetically sealed metal buckets, as is the paper. A urine trap allows the liquid to be drained into a tank, which is also fed by shower water and wash basin. This urine-water mixture is used to irrigate the terraces further down.

After we presented the infrastructure to the students, they decided to divide the toilets according to gender. You use the toilets several times a day for a period of 9 days. They could organize the handling of the buckets themselves and also procured more earth and coal (the latter was also used for cooking at the nearby barbecue area). 55 students and 6 teachers used less than 1000 liters of water for the shower and wash basin and left behind about 1500 liters of urine-containing wastewater, suitable for watering the nearby trees thanks to natural cleaning agents. In addition, the group left about 100 kg of the mixture of feces, soil and coal. The closed metal buckets are still waiting to be used in the color garden in places with ornamental vegetation or in the dye garden. Since we have to suspect drug residues in the leftovers and want to make sure for future visitor groups that they eat uncontaminated vegetables from our garden, we decided to separate them. We are thus also compliant with the health regulations of society. And yet we give back what we have borrowed from the local nature with respect.

FamiliaFeliz dry Toilet Project
FamiliaFeliz dry Toilet Project

The students were very attentive, very social, very committed. After two years, we even received a request from two of them whether they could do their social year in the projects of our community. Both must have been impressed by the life in nature and with nature.
The initial reason to create a minimal infrastructure for the first group of visitors was important. This visit mobilized the strength in our community to create this opportunity, without money, without funding, without other public help.

a populated art camp for birthday celebration
a populated art camp for birthday celebration

In the period that followed, it was precisely this infrastructure that offered visitors the option of pitching their tents on the Art Campus for a while. With Nora Valdez, a Latin American artist came to exactly this place and, in addition to an impressive group of figures, also painted the toilets in the tradition of the colorful, naïve, often socially critical and ambitious murals of Nicaragua.

at the border of communication
at the border of communication

The black and red human torsos formed the basis for the action artist and painter Rolf Habel to work out the colors and souls of the people.

the shower of happiness - a kind of dialoge
the shower of happiness – a kind of dialogue

Now these toilets are connected with a distant place in Latin America, with its history and its indigenous knowledge of food production and the treasures of nature, but also with a farmer leader who as a teacher risked his head and shoulders for his convictions and with new generations who oppose it decide the mainstream and set out to revive the abandoned land and create new space for free thinking and action, for informal education and the dialogue between north and south, young and old, city and country.

A big thanks we want to announce for Arta Garanča for her exquisit drawings!

The Art Camp in the Garden of Colors (val.: jardi de colors / laboratori d’artistes), as Esther, a friend of our community, called our dye garden, is now setting out to process and pass on the knowledge about these Terra Preta toilets to a new community project in Nicaragua. And this article is the beginning.

Social StreetWork – Via Augusta – from Rome to Cadiz

Nearly 2030 years ago a mix of military and economic considerations had led to planning and realization of the Via Herculanea, later re-named to Via Augusta, an ancient public street of the Roman Empire to connect Cadiz, Sevilla, Alicante, Valencia, Tarragona, Barcelona and Girona with the extisting network of main streets, all connected to the eternal city of Rome.

Here I will explore a narrative about a spanish youth playing in the streets of Italica, a Roman consul founding a city for war veterans, a Gypsy woman walking barefood on the Via Augusta in Rome and the project of rebuilding a ramp in the color garden of our community FamiliaFeliz in Cervera del Maestre, which will be part of the upcomming community founder festival in 2020. Also i will shed a bit of light upon myth and reality of community founders on the way to work for an idea and enlighten the link between all of this.

social streetwork - Dilan is moving recycled construction material
social streetwork – Dilan is moving recycled construction material

As many politics truely believe a street is a tool to explore a region, to develop a new industrial area and to organize people on their way from A to B. And as we are all dealing most of the times with narratives of belief systems (like religion, science, common sense, the law of nature…) most of these times we are failing.

social streetwork - the broken ramp
social streetwork – the broken ramp

But there is a reason for a street as a tool for transportation, and human mankind mobalize much energy to set up a public street, if there are needs for a logistic solution.

On my journey to discover Spain in the 1980th i was living a month in Granada and joined a trip to an ancient Roman city named Italica, not far from Sevilla. On a very sunny day in May (we enjoyed +47 degrees later at 7pm in the evening in Sevilla) i was walking in the streets of this amazing ancient Roman city. During the Second Punic War in 206 BC Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus had moved a Turdetan settlement, after the battle of Ilipa, into a camp for wounded Roman soldiers and expanded it later into a military post. When i was so far away from the forum romanum in Rome i felt the power of this ancient empire, to be able to connect these places with a network of public highways. I imagined, what the boy Aeluis might have thought about the Roman Empire and his own career later on.

social streetwork - new concrete mixed with gravel - a ancient roman recipe
social streetwork – new concrete mixed with gravel – a ancient roman recipe

Nearly 15 years before i was sitting on a big marble block and drawing a Gypsy woman moving over a ancient street. I was not knowing at that time, to which destination this road – Via Augusta – could lead me. And – maybe as well as Aeluis – i was not aware that we both would take this street in our life, but in the opposite direction.

social streetwork - new concrete mixed with gravel - filled with natural stones at the border
social streetwork – new concrete mixed with gravel – filled with natural stones at the border

When the craftsmen began excavating the base of today’s Cologne Cathedral, the builders at that time thought that a building would only stand securely if the weight of the foundations corresponded to that of the building above it. It took them 40 years to excavate all soil and ground and to fill it with stones mixed with roman concrete, an ancient well-known buildung material. And as the Romans 1000 years before, they also used and recycled material from the old church at the same place.

Imagine what you would think, if you start your career as a freemason in your 20th to be part of a team to build a cathedral. And 40 years later you get retired and the last piece of stone you move is still part of the foundation. In the same way we see FamiliaFeliz as a long term project, much longer than our working lifetime and – for sure – longer than our life at all.

Only three years ago we accomplished our mission to expand the land for our community project by adding the last of first three plots to the collection. We named this area art camp and later it became a host for the first visit of german high school alumnos.

To reach this location everybody has to pass a old concrete ramp, created by the previous owner of the plot. This ramp was already broken and heavy weather events in the last years damaged this building more and more.

social streetwork - new concrete mixed with gravel - 2000 kg in 4 days moved without electricity
social streetwork – new concrete mixed with gravel – 2000 kg in 4 days moved without electricity

After 100 (!) days of lock down in Spain we hope to welcome people from near and far to our Community Founder Festival CFF in August 2020. So we thought it was a good idea to renovate and repair the ramp before all these guests will use this main entrance to the art camp, which will be the host for tends and trailors and vans and cars.

social streetwork - Dilan is preparing the left border
social streetwork – Dilan is preparing the left border

Two times in my life i was the guest in the villa of Aeluis near Rome. He made the way from Italica to the eternal city and became emperor and leader under this name Caesar Trajanus Hadrianus Augustus. His house – Villa Adriano – was more likely a municipal district than an ordanary house. On the way from his parents home to the villa on the hills of Rome he changed the carob seeds for diamonds.

On my visit in his house i realized the power of civil rights. Aeluis, as a spanish boy, was a defeated Iberian in the Punic Wars, who, with his defeat under the Roman empire, at the same time obtained all civil rights, including active and passive voting rights.

What a difference, if you compare this with manifestations in streets of contemporary empires, in which ordinary citizens complain that their civil rights have not been granted yet, after more than 250 years of beeing citizen of these empires!

Aeluis for sure traveled on the ancient Roman public street Via Augusta, he passed the little village of Benlloch in Castellon as well as Roman metropoles like Tarragona, Barcelona and Girona on his way to Rome.

Aeluis also passed on the Via Augusta a city founded and organized by Decimus Iunius Brutus Callaicus. This Roman conqueror had developed an little island in the Turia river, 4 km far from the coast. This city was designed as a retreatment area for soldiers. Later under the Caliphate of Córdoba it became a well developed commercial and administrative city named Valencia.

The Gypsy woman walking on the hot stones of the Via Augusta in Rome was a symbol of commerce for me and highlighted the meaningfulness of this network of public streets all over Europe.

social streetwork - amplify the ramp border
social streetwork – amplify the ramp border

Aeluis had not experienced any border control nor passed any check points on his way to Italy. It was one country at that time. And till the lock down began, i was a European citizen with the right of free movement and could followed him in the same way. Many years after his travel, with the spanish flue, countries in Europe invented border controlls for ordanary citizens, and, what coincidence, in these times again the free movement in Europe is falling apart.

Streets are used by military, by commercial dealers as well as by humans looking for new challenges in their lives in discovering new territories and remote places. Streets are links between centers of power. Streets are following ideas. Streets are places for the manifestation of human dreams and values. Sometimes, like the Roman empire, part of the idea disappers. But if we meet a street, we can meet the history, which leads to the ideas.

The ramp in the color garden of FamiliaFeliz in Cervera del Maestre, Castellon, located in Pais Valenciano, not far from the Via Augusta, might be used in the future also by travelers discovering their new lifes. As a main entrance to the art camp it is a kind of private street but also an invitation to peace, a link to the tribe of humans without fear.

social streetwork - Francesca working on the ramp foundation
social streetwork – Francesca working on the ramp foundation

Like the young freemanson digging the foundation of the Chatedral of Cologne, who in his imagination may hear the praises of the parish around the shrine of the three wise men, Dilan, Francisca, and Jens and many other are working on the ramp in the color garden, to invite guests, they might never see with their own eyes.

The myth of community building is sitting in a circle and singing, the reality is digging the foundation to set up a place to make that gathering happen. I took the Via Augusta to the south east of Spain. Aeluis went to Italy. He changed the peace of Italica for the violence in Rome, as part of the elite. I left the violence of neliberal capitalism in the north and I changed the diamonds for carob seeds. You might see the trees, if you walk the ramp.

The Picasso of Tomorrow

The Picasso of Tomorrow
The Picasso of Tomorrow

Agnieszka Merta is a mother (of a 4 years old boy) and an artist. She is living in UK and Spain and she will offer a workshop about drawing and painting and sculpturing based on natural materials and inspired by nature.

I like to invite your children for a very special art class where our creative energy is inspired by nature. We will draw, paint and sculpt looking at the nature around us in the FamiliaFeliz community garden in Cervera del Maestre.

The sky, the ground, the trees and animals around us have always been inspiration for artists! Let your child imagination go, grow and blossom. Hope to see you soon

Agnieszka Merta, Artist

The workshop is created and held by a mother and professionally trained artist. The fee of 10 Euros per children includes all used materials. We will meet 26.04.2020 at 11 am in the color garden (or in case of bad weather events inside the CASAdelDRAGON).

For further information and answers to your questions please contact the artist directly: WhatsApp +447984458808 or mail agymerta/at/

mosaic workshop in the art camp of CASAdelDRAGON


A l’abril de 2020, famíliafeliz et convida a fer un taller artístic sobre un mosaic trencadís. El taller tindrà lloc els dies 11 i 12 d’abril de 2020, de 10h a 13h i de 15 a 17h. El taller és gratuït per a adults i nens (edat mínima de 8 anys acompanyats per un adult participant) i s’inclouen menjar i begudes. Les places són limitades. Aquest taller està relacionat amb esdeveniments anteriors a Espanya i Alemanya i també amb l’exposició de la casa del drac.

El punt de trobada és la residència d’artistes CASAdelDRAGON 11.04.2020 a les 10.30h o a l’entrada del jardí de colors a les 11.00h.

Les persones que facin el taller i estiguin interessades a fer servir l’opció d’allotjament poden registrar-se al 10.04.2020 a partir de les 17:00 o les 23:00. fins a les 9.00 hores.

Si voleu fer el taller, poseu-vos en contacte amb Juan / at / o utilitzeu el WhatsApp 0049 16099131933. Si necessiteu allotjament, podríem oferir places limitades a la residència d’artista CASAdelDRAGON des del dia 10.4.2020 al 13.04.2020.

 L’objectiu principal del taller és comprendre la tècnica i les estratègies d’obres d’art mosaic més grans, així com realitzar algunes noves obres d’art per al jardí de colors de CASAdelDRAGON.

Si voleu participar, poseu-vos en contacte amb nosaltres abans del 05.04.2020 a les 12h.

Taller de trencadís
Residència d’artistes
Las Parras, 19
12578 Cervera del Maestre

In April 2020 FamiliaFeliz envites for an artistic workshop about trencadis ( mosaic ). The workshop will happen 11 and 12 of April 2020 each day from 10am to 1pm and from 3pm to 5pm. The workshop is free for adults and kids (minimum age 8 years, guided by one partent) and includes food and drinks. Places are limited. This workshop is linked to previous events in Spain and Germany and also to the upcoming exhibition in the house of the dragon.

Meeting point is the artist residence CASAdelDRAGON 11.04.2020 at 10.30am or at the entrance of the color garden at 11.00am.

Guests who want to use the accommodation option are able to checkin 10.04.2020 after 5pm or 11.04. till 9.00am.

If you are interested in this workshop please contact juan / at/ or use WhatsApp 0049 16099131933 . If you need accomodation we could offer limited places in the artist residence CASAdelDRAGON from 10.4. to 13.04.2020.

The main goal of the workshop is to understand technique and strategies of larger mosaic art works and to realize some new pieces of art for the color garden of CASAdelDRAGON.

If you want to partizipate please contact us before 05.04.2020 12pm !

taller de trencadis
Artist residence
Las Parras,19
12578 Cervera del Maestre

All about LOVE – participative art event

all about love - participative art event
all about love – participative art event

Com a part d’un projecte social i artístic a CASAdelDRAGON aquest 2020, us convidem a un acte molt especial. El diumenge 22.03.2020 a les 11h ens trobarem al Jardí del Color de la Familiafeliz. Allà pintarem i dibuixarem junts i juntes durant dues hores. Aquest esdeveniment està connectat a accions anteriors dutes a terme tant a Espanya com a Alemanya i també amb l’exposició de la Casa del Drac.

T’interessa? Genial. Anoteu la vostra participació. Oberta la inscripció fins el 20.03.2020 a les 12h a través del correu electrònic (Juan / at / o utilitzeu WhatsApp 0049 160 99131933 (artsurpriseme).

Per participar a l’esdeveniment és gratuït. Els punts de trobada són a les 10.30h al carrer CASAdelDRAGON Las Parras, 19 12578 Cervera del Maestre o a les 11h a l’interior del camp d’art al jardí de colors (1000m baix del turó de CASAdelDRAGON).

All about LOVE (Tot sobre l’Amor)
esdeveniment artístic participatiu
Las Parras,19
12578 Cervera del Maestre

Inici 11:00 / Durada 2 hores / Entrada lliure / places limitades / Sol·licitar fins el 20.03.2020 12:00

As part of the artistic and social project of CASAdelDRAGON in 2020 we invite you for one very special art event. Sunday 22.03.2020 at 11am we will meet in the color garden of familiafeliz. We will paint and draw together in a two hour session. This happening is linked to previous events in Spain and Germany and also to the upcoming exhibition in the house of the dragon.

You are interested? Great. Please announce your partizipation till 20.03.2020 12am via email (juan / at / petry . eu) or use WhatsApp 0049 160 99131933 (artsurpriseme).

To participate in the event is free of charge. Meeting points are 10.30am at CASAdelDRAGON Calle Las Parras,19 12578 Cervera del Maestre or 11am inside the art camp in the color garden (1000m down the hill from CASAdelDRAGON).

All about LOVE
participative art event
Las Parras,19
12578 Cervera del Maestre

Start 11am / Duration 2 hours / Entrance free / limited places / Apply till 20.03.2020 12am

I la llum es va fer

 “Que existeixi la llum”. I la llum va existir.

(Gn 1,3)
contemporary art exhibition in the house of the dragon
contemporary art exhibition in the house of the dragon

I la llum es va fer

Per Assumpta Arasa Altimira i Ira Vonnegut

I, van passar els anys, mil·lennis, i la vida al planeta, a poc a poc, ho va anar cobrint tot. Perquè cada societat ha intentat explicar com va ser aquest inici. Com en un petit planeta, d’una estrella de nivell 40, ha sigut capaç de crear-se vida. I quina vida!

Però malgrat aquesta bellesa, podem estar tristos i tristes. Incendis, inundacions, desequilibris atmosfèrics, aniquilació d’espècies d’animals senceres, contaminació de rius, aires irrespirables, el final real d’aquest el nostre paradís sembla que el tenim davant dels nostres ulls.

Avui, més que mai, ens veiem obligats i obligades a lluitar per casa nostra, la Terra. Per això, la necessitat de fer aquesta exposició. Perquè també des de l’Art i la Cultura hem de reivindicar la vida i la dignitat d’aquesta, perquè necessitem que la Llum i l’Esperança torni a fer-se! (PDF)

And the light was done

And, years, millennia passed, and life on the planet, little by little, covered everything. Because, as far as we know, every society has tried to explain how this beginning was. As it seems strange for our small planet (one from a star level 40) to create life. And what a beautiful life! 

But despite this beauty, we can be very sad. Fires, floods, atmospheric imbalances, the annihilation of whole animal species, river pollution, breathless air, the end of this paradise seems to be just in front of our eyes, facing this every single day.

Today, more than ever, we, as humans, are forced to fight for our home, the Earth. This is why we want and need to put together this exhibit. Because we believe that we must vindicate, also trough Art and Culture, the life on our planet and its dignity, because we need Light and Hope to exist again!

Inauguration : 21.03.2020 – 7 pm – CASAdelDRAGON, Las Parras,19 – 12578 Cervera del Maestre – Castellon – Spain – special guest > musician Sinta Salvadó

Exhibition 22.03.2020 – 08.05.2020 – every Saturday and Sunday 10am to 2pm

This exhibition is linked to several workshops, located at the art camp of CASAdelDRAGON.

mas actividads… / more activities…

all about love – painting session | mosaic workshop – tencadis

The shower of happiness

the shower of happiness - every end is a beginning
the shower of happiness – every end is a beginning

I paint, see the black lines of the artist Nora Valdez. Dark figures. Menacing guardians of ambition guard unknown fears. Strong forces are in front of me.

Rolf Habel, artist, social worker, musician, friend

In early 2020 CASAdelDRAGON invited the German artist and musician Rolf Habel for a visit in the artist residence. We enjoyed him the third time in the house of the dragon, as a close eye witness of the progress of our living community.

the shower of happiness - nice lunch in the art camp
the shower of happiness – nice lunch in the art camp

As all the guests Rolf enjoyed the tasty food in our art camp. It is a pleasure and high value, to be able to harvest fresh salad close to the art camp in our own garden and to prepare it “just-in-time”.

From the beginning Rolf was attracted by some drawings on the walls of showers and dry toilets in the art camp. It was an intervention from Nora, a famous artist from Boston, United States, who created a sculpture nearby.

the shower of happiness - in the line of creation
the shower of happiness – in the line of creation

Rolf started to paint, with a lot of respect for the original drawings on the wall. Like the goal of the art camp itself, it became a flow of creation.

the shower of happiness - colorised interpretations
the shower of happiness – colorised interpretations

In the last week of his visit Rolf was highly motivated to arrive every morning in the garden area to continue the work. He was feeling exited by having this bigger canvas to work on. For him it was also a return to some memories of his past and a silent dialogue with our social community project and all its implications.

the shower of happiness - a kind of dialoge
the shower of happiness – a kind of dialoge

Here, someone wants to assert who is considered to be what. The wood is thirsty and the brushes are hard. Paint residues in cans that have not been opened for a long time. The sun shines and warms me soothingly. The almonds bloom, bees hum.

Rolf Habel, artist, social worker, musician, friend
the shower of happiness - following the guidelines
the shower of happiness – following the guidelines

It is early February and I am Spain, visit my friend Juan. He asked me to bring some color to the impressive but somehow very dark world of drawings – which were applied by the sculptor and famous artist Nora Valdez – to the toilet and shower shed of the ARTCAMP of the CASAdelDRAGON, the artist residence of the living community FamiliaFeliz.

Rolf Habel, artist, social worker, musician, friend
the shower of happiness - respectful interventions
the shower of happiness – respectful interventions

I have a lot of respect for Noras work, which reminds me of lead glazing in churches. Almost something sacred comes from these drawings. I want my colors to shine like colorful glass. I feel myself in their ideas, feel a little like someone who reads in the foreign diary. Changing my colors, bringing light to the narratives.

Rolf Habel, artist, social worker, musician, friend
the shower of happiness - the artist absorbed by emotions
the shower of happiness – the artist absorbed by emotions

More and more cheerfulness comes into the strict composition. I reshape the specifications so that it now appears as if the painting has been poured from above on this house. At least that’s what i feel like in the meantime. Waves and waves of happiness are supposed to overwhelm the visitor of the shower. Like the fairy tale “Sterntaler” from the collections of the Brothers Grimm. Be brave, you’re not poor, you may have so little, give everything away, give your last shirt, you will be richly rewarded in this shower of happiness.

Rolf Habel, artist, social worker, musician, friend
the shower of happiness - donations of color - ready to use for our guests
the shower of happiness – donations of color – ready to use for our guests

All works done by a lot of contributers in the last years, are based on earlier contributions. Like Rolf who was inspired by Noras drawings and sketches on some walls, Nora was inspired by these four buildings in a line (which are symbolically the begining of the art camp itself). These buildings are made by people like Clara and others, to welcome guests from all over the world. They are places in a plot, which was sponsered mostly by an german artist Edgar and his wife Angela.

Rolf suggested, that a next generation of creatives arriving to the art camp, should be motivated to continue this intervention.

All this reminds to another older art projects, a joint venture in art, as part of artsurprise, another social sculpture. Nora was part of a group of 10 artists from latin america. Each artists participated with 10 little artworks and 10 european artists “answered” by adding their artworks as well in this edition.

the shower of happiness - one of four - social art in progress
the shower of happiness – one of four – social art in progress