Four years ago we prepared the Spanish location for community life. One of the first activities in the garden area was to set up a point of reference for further design decisions and to commit ourselves to this project.
This symbolic act of commitment was the introduction for a new story, the story of the alternative living community familiafeliz.
We are storytellers and we are storybelievers. In a social competition between individuals and groups we try to bind ourselves to stories we invented to give sense to our actions or even to reactions of others.
Its all about stories. Even science is a believe system. We choose between different stories of how its gonna work and we believe the most common, or the most siutable or the most rare.
Sometimes our stories are astonishing and surprising at the same time. We do not know what Nigel Farage two german (!) kids are thinking about BREXIT but looking debates in the british House of Commons in 2019 is a fairy tail of storytelling at all. As the political economy professor Blyth explained, Brexit doesn’t matter on a long run, but most of the Europeans are sure about the negative impact of the referendum in 2016 in UK.
In the 9/11 debate we see evidence in inside jobs or falls flag interventions because we don’t like the government. In the four horseman we find the truth in listening secretaries of foreign political leaders because we like to trust people who explained us that we can not trust anybody any more.
One of the most common and famous story is the story about money. Even middle east fighters for the truth are keeping American bugs in protected places, the notes from the most hated animy, because they also believe in the value of these pieces of paper.
As a social animal we host very different stories and if we meet a tipping point in which we need to change the story we are furious to switch to another. In the competition between all these different and mostly incoherent stories we are able to switch from on incompatible story to another in a second (by surprising our family, friends and partners).
The advantage of inventing all these stories is obviously the glue to bind society and to organize ourselves and others around us. We like to know the truth, but it seems to be a hell outside and we are on a lifetime ride to find it.
We are looking for evidence for myths like “We are equal. We have human rights. We are social. The truth will have success.”
From public affairs to religion, from evidence in science to myth and culture, we stick on stories. In fact we are not able to handle the perception of reality without using any story. And for sure, any story is better than no story.
So what is the story of an alternative living community about?
The main story of familiafeliz is to create a social space for personal happiness. Whatever story is invented to fullfill this, as long as it respects the story of the others, its fine and suitable.
As a social artist i think, creating a kitchen and building a room for gathering people is a fundamental act of society building. If we want to explore further alternatives of how human mankind could survive in a much bigger competition about bio mass in the future, i think, it make sense to create places to meet, to gather, to enjoy.
Loved friends like Cecile in Permacultura Penyaflor near Tortosa are looking for alternatives and they invent their own stories. Cecocesola in Venezuela is a great example of a story of 5 woman. Now more than 43.000 people are believing in this story every day.
Lunch and dinner are perfect reasons for people to come together and to enjoy social time. Mostly in these relaxed environments people are willing to exchange their story and to validate its power and success.
Architecture – short or long term temporary – is in general a powerful tool to design a physical space for this exchange. To build a fish out of stones is a totally senseless project, except the fact that i can enjoy it and that i can invite others to discover the world in a joyfull way and push them to invent their own story about it.
So what counts at the end of the day? What matters in a world of competative stories and storytellers and who is in charge to decide the truth?
I have no clue for that except the fact, that familiafeliz is one of the best places i know to discover a nice future embedded in many happy moments with lovely people. And it’s not because it’s closed, it’s defined, it’s settled… it’s because its open, undefined, unfinished, imperfect, maybe because it’s a story invented and started in 2015 based on 40 years of life experience with a core group of members.
Familiafeliz is a unfinished story, we started to tell it since 2014 to more than 200 guests per year and it will grow in stories of others.
Thanks to all these friends and guests for inventing a story about a social space for personal happiness. At the end of the day, its a story about LOVE.