A reflection on Collectivity.

On Friday 19th June after 21 exceptional days of support The Eroles Project celebrated CROWDFUNDING SUCCESS!!!!! Hurrah!!! Wholehearted gratitude to all of you. Thank you for supporting, sharing, commenting and following our campaign. We are overwhelmed by receiving support from over 70 pl edgers, meaning that we not only reached but exceeded our target raising £6750 / 9492€!!!!
I’ve have a deep appreciation for the collectivity brought about by the crowdfunding process and ironically am now grateful for not being successful in securing external funding earlier in the year. Crowdfunding has meant the project could grow in line with its core values: collaboration, co-creation and participation. And we’ve found that through promoting the campaign we’ve also been able to share an ideology and create a network.
We’ve been contacted by the founder of Sociolution who are interested in offering The Eroles Project gift economy web support, we’ve had a wonderful gentleman in the US asking if there is an option to donate ongoing support for the next 6 months to help us mobilise towards the UN Climate talks (COP21) in Paris this December, we’ve been offered London-grown, community-made wine to take as an action to the streets of Paris “vin la resistance”…. !!
On the project front we’re into our second week of the collaborative ‘live’ experiment. There are 8 of us here, including a family. The house has been transformed by the energy of many hands. Each day we play with the joys and challenges of living in community. We meditate together in the morning and dive into creative tasks in the afternoons. There is so much rich learning but I will leave the details to Lara (one of the current participants) to capture in the next blog.
In other news:
A few days ago we had a blockage in our sewage pipes (future participants – no flushing loo paper!!!). I knocked on the door of a previously unknown neighbour stumbling in Spanish and miming the problem. I was asking for a plumber’s number, but he instead very willingly came over to look. Five hours, four additional neighbours, and many meters of digging later, we and the neighbours stood outside our house laughing and determined to work together to solve the blockage. I have never experienced this level of community care and gracious collaboration. Moments later, with one very good guess with the pickaxe, the pipe we’d been digging to find split and Guillem and Sege got sprayed with toilet paper and our poo! I have never felt so embarrassed.
I wouldn’t recommend this as a community bonding exercise. But it’s certainly an activity that’s enabled us to experience the villagers community spirit.
A culture of open-hearted generosity has been founded here in the house. We hope to share this with each new participant who arrives and that they in turn find their own ways to continue this depth of appreciation and sharing.

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It’s all happening.

Dear friends! Wow, it’s been a while since our last post. A lot has happened here. Amongst other things, we’ve been joined by the fresh energy of Mihai, an enthusiastic and lovely guy from Romania, we had a beautiful dragon dreaming session (and breakfast) with the Eco-Dharma crew, and we’ve planted lots of new veg. All the plants are getting so big so quick, we are very proud mothers. One of the most important things however was the launch of our crowdfunding campaign! It took twice the time we’d initially planned to complete it (due to amateur filming and uncontrollable laughter), but I have to say, we’re very happy with the result.
Making the film and writing the crowdfunder text was challenging and extremely helpful. It forced us to really understand what in god’s name we’re actually doing out here, and what good is it to the world anyway? Though the key objectives of the project eventually became clearer to us, it was also a matter of reducing our dreams to a compelling and realistic essence, for the purpose of clear and concise communication.There’s so much more to this project than what’s written on the campaign. But we hope that what we’ve communicated so far is enough for people to want to support us, or at least to feel curious and ask us questions. Questioning is good; we want to know and feel that we are spending our time and efforts in a way that is and/or will be valuable to something greater than ourselves.
Please please share our campaign with whoever you feel relevant in your networks. We have 11 days left, and if we’re successful, the funding will make all the difference. To those who have already so generously contributed, THANK YOU so much! We’re very excited to start working on the rewards we’d like to give you.
http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-eroles-project
On a practical note ,the residency’s soon opening, and we can feel the momentum building up and we’re starting to realise that wow, this is actually happening. We received our COLOSSAL order of dry food. A nerve-wracking experience, ordering so much food for 12 people per week for three months, without knowing for sure if everyone will show up or not. But we believe in what we’re doing, and to make things happen you’ve got to be a bit gutsy sometimes. Note to self: structure the application process so that confirmation of participants comes early!
It’s been hard getting collaborators to join for the month of June, but July and August are nearly completely booked! We are so thrilled (and a bit surprised)! It’s just been the two of us here for so long now; it feels pretty unreal that this house will soon be full of people, having discussions, making art, cooking paella for the village, laughing, crying, working in the garden… We’ve reached a stage where we feel (nearly) complete trust that all will work well, the pieces will fall into place… OK no, who am I kidding! There are times where we are TOTALLY FREAKING OUT. Although this project has always been named a collaborative one, we’ve realised that being on site naturally entails more responsibility, more action, and thus, the question is, more leadership? We’ve made decisions and taken action on behalf of many other collaborators, trusting (hoping) that the efforts are received as gifts. On a more personal note, I will be travelling back to Sweden at the end of the week. It feels very strange to be leaving just as participants start arriving, and not being able to witness how all the ideas, thoughts and decisions we’ve had so far actually pan out. I look forward to returning in the beginning of August, when the residency is in full bloom. I will still be working with some admin and keeping in touch with everyone involved, both collaborators and pledgers! Until then, please get in touch if you’d like to question us, support us or join us!
We got some great mulching tips from Ruth’s mother
Will definitely be missing this view.
Click on this picture to see why it took us so long to make the film.

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