Yesterday’s super moon played with my emotions and it lead to a long letter, straight from my heart to my friends and family back home. I thought I might share it here since these are important thoughts relating to my latest project…
It has been two weeks since I left SA, it feels like only a moment yet I have experienced a lifetime of lessons and emotions. Through interactions with people back home I realised some people have no idea what I am doing while others have a bit of a misconception and I thought I would share some thoughts with you all (you don’t have to read it, I know I waffle on)
Currently I am living and building with a crew of activists, builders and performers from all over the world (11 of us from 9 different countries atm) in Calafou (an anti capitalist, ecological community) in Vallbona d’Anoia, Spain.
We have spent weeks scavenging the streets of Barcelona, where people throw out the most incredible things. We are making functional art, all with things that society thought to be useless. We want to show that our consumerist lifestyle is unsustainable, unecological and slowly killing our planet.
The idea is to sail down sections of the Ebro later this summer, reaching out to local communities through performances, songs and shows…
Well that was the press release idea, the website copy I wrote while still in Cpt sounded something like that… Being here makes me re-evaluate myself and my reasons for doing this every day. Yes the pollution in our oceans and waterways are unacceptable, consumerism is out of hand, people have no respect for materials, I wanted a Spanish summer, yes we need to reevaluate how much waste we generate and where it all goes and ja, floating down the river with a bunch of my hippie friends sounds like lots of fun… but there is so much more to it.
coming from a country where 14% (7.1 millions humans) live in houses they had to build from scrap and things they scavenged and 9% of my country(wo)men have no access to piped water – I am well aware of the big issues back home and the fact that people there might think I am looking to “fix” the problem too far from home…
but coming to Europe last year for the first time showed me that we need to start at the top. Telling people with little access to water to save and protect our water resources makes no sense – we need to start in the European cities where people drink enough bottled water (and throw away the plastic) for us to collect enough flotation to build 4 rafts (in just 2weeks) and where they hose the streets down at night with high pressured water… where people do not even realise their privileges.
Yes it is a summer holiday, but it is also hard work. After 6 weeks in the desert with afrikaburn, I now sleep on a mattress on the floor of an old industrial warehouse, I shit in a long drop and we cook regular meals (and clean up) for the 40 people who currently live here in between building, decorating, making outfits and props and trying to manage this campaign online. All my possessions fit in one backpack, I hand wash my clothes and I survive on a budget of about 5euros a day. I saved for months to buy a ticket here and I have hardly any money in my account (and even that is probably more than most of the people here with me.) And I believe this will be the comfortable part of the trip.
The people here are doing something that I now realise I always had in my head but never thought could be a reality. They are finding ways to fight the poverty and unemployment that haunts the under 30s of Spain. In a way our projects are similar and they have turned an abandoned, seemingly useless space into a place where they can live, work and grow together.
My pirate crew are fascinating, multi-talented people, between the ages of 22 and 45, who are all gatvol of living along the lines that society have set for us. We are looking to explore and share alternative ways of living and travelling. I have started with short lil profiles of each of them and hope to write many of their stories in the next two months.
As always the curse of no money and broken vehicles follow me around. The old Mercedes van we bought drinks expensive fuels and uses only imported german parts. I wount ask any of you for money (I know you don’t have, ha! and i KNOW the Rand Euro exchange rate) but I do wish for you to share some of these ideals and ideas, reconsider your waste and packaging and maybe start some small recycling mission at home…
Let me know if it will irritate you greatly if I keep you posted in this journal style email every now and again, and I will gladly take you out of the address box.
or if you care for some more info (scary statistics and fucked up facts) or just to see how my summer-all-year-tan is doing, visit our blog, like our page or maybe you could even make a small donation.