Common memories of a community

Since 2013 we are developing the decentralized living community FamiliaFeliz in Spain and Germany. In the last years we showed on our frontpage a mosaic of fotos telling something about the daily live and the people passing this community.

Before we want to substitute the image with some newer visual material we like to store in the common virtual brain of the internet some memories and we want to share with you the stories behind.

  1. We like a lot salad (especially Juan). We planted in the last seasons between 800 and 1200 salads every year in our vegetable garden. Still we are learning where and how we find sustainable and easy methods and strategies. In 2017 we added a lot of raised beds to the garden area (made by paletts and ibc tank parts). They will host almost some hundreds in 2018.
  2. The old french Peugeot was moving a lot of cañas in the beginning of using the first plot as a vegetable garden. The car is still part of the group of vehicles we use to move things in the wide area (8ha). After more than 10 years of hard work the 20 years old car rescued a little in 2017 (damaged electronic parts), but we hope to bring it back to live in 2018. If you see our garden hero in future posts it will had happened that way.
  3. The symbol of the dragon house is still on the roof looking to the north and waiting for new guests in the artist residence and think tank CASAdelDRAGON. The dragon is still looking colorful and equal to the first years and gives a glimp to the vitality of our projects.
  4. A german couple (with a hidden baby 🙂 …) was planting in the second year of using the color garden a cherry tree. Every year we have in a village nearby a famous cherry festival and this tree was one of the first fruit trees arriving in our garden. The couple returned to Bonn (Germany) after some weeks and they are still in contact with us. Living in Spain in such a community is their dream but also to find a sustainable economical way to survive. We will see if they might return to harvest the fruits of their cherry tree.
  5. The cat Mischa was the original owner of the garden plot and invited us in a very smart way to share the opportunities of this land with us. For sure we had to donate sometimes food to this cat and she get really angry after  being alone some weeks. Sonia (6) took the cat when she left the community. But living in a house was not the best choice for Mischa. One day she escaped and never returned.
  6. Sonia is one of the founder of the community. She developed as a contemporary artist and was living with us more than 5 years (included the first 4 years of the established community). She left for personal reasons and is still living in the village of Cervera del Maestre with her mother. We like a lot her art and way of expressing social movements in artworks (amor en guerras civiles). Sonia was also involved in developing other art projects like and the gallery space in the dragon house. The devolpment of the gallery space is pending after her departure. We miss her.
  7. Before we founded FamiliaFeliz we had a kick-of meeting in the dragon house in 2012. The main questions we focused: what is possible to share and to donate between alternative local people? What they want? What they need? How they could support each other? One of the most wanted goals was a sustainable vetegable garden organised by a flat hierarchy – an open community with few regulations. Years later we have the garden but we are still waiting for local people to join the project. It looks that it is much easier to find foreign people to be involved in the garden development than locals. Even young alternative and local people dont expect alternative gras roots projects like FamiliaFeliz just in front of their doors.
  8. After finishing the rebuilding of the ruine of the dragon house we decided to renovate every year one (!) room of this house. Even this is a long term project and it will take 18 years. The foto shows a detail of the kitchen floor in CASAdelDRAGON.
  9. Carmen, the mother of Sonia donated a lemon tree to our community and we planted the tree in the garden. One day we saw, that it was not here any more, only a hole… it might be a long way to understand the term donation without expectation. We hope the tree is fine in a new place and we planted a lot of new citrics in 2017/18.
  10. This are the shoes from Cheveo – the little fighter of the sool. He was living with us and his mother for nearly 9 month in the community. It was a wonderful time and we have beautiful memories of a young child discovering the world embadded in nature and peace. We wish the best for him, his mother and his new and growing family in Germany.
  11. The dutch mazedonian couple joined the community for one month only but it was a powerful and interesting time for all. Even they learned a lot about themselves and each other. I remember one of the explanations about the civil war in Jugoslavia in the past when she was a little girl: “In some aspects a war is not bad. It brings people in a village very close together and everybody helps each other. The end of the war was for us also the end of solidarity between us in the little villages in the mazedonian mountains.” All chance and tragedy of Europe societies was embedded in this relation. Both of them returned to Amsterdam and they splitted of.
  12. These shoes where owned by a little russian girl visited two times the community. She was escaping as a child with her mother from violence and war in her homeland (part of RUS). We like the foto as a symbol of people coming and going and trying to find their ways in their lifes. Sometimes it seems that familiafeliz is a melting pot of strangers searching for new alternative ways to organized their lifes (in little) and the community life (in a bigger scale). We hope she is fine and get peace in her life.
  13. The 2 heads – part of the movie “TGV in 50 seconds” – are linked to the commmunity, because they are created in the dragon house, they are part of a lot of art projects of one member and they are guests in a train to arrive in a town. So in many aspects they tell the story of departure-migration-arrival and even in contemporary times imgration is part of our daily life. European future societies are defined by this movements of people, and they all move phisically after moving mentaly.
  14. This foto shows a detail of the open kitchen in the color garden. The kitchen is still in progress and not finished. The olive wood is like a bridge over a little protected space. To continue the buildung and finishing this kitchen in 2018 is one of our big goals and you are invited to join us and help us to mantain this community and this social art project FamiliaFeliz. Apply here for your visit. And maybe you will become part of “Common memories of a community – part 2”.