Today I invite you to a hopefully fruitful and wonderful weekend at Egberts Lent, a former farm and currently a ‘cottage art’ type of initiative. On purpose I use the folky ‘cottage art’ expression as it is not that often we hear about rural initiatives that might be compared to the larger urban initiatives in which living, working, culture, artist-in-residence and other tools are combined. In the urban environment ‘we’ find ourselves often creating in former industrial buildings. It’s the former farms in the rural area’s that hold the same possibilities and can be seen as the rural equivalent of industry that is slowly changing.
I addressed my previous story ‘we all have something to worry about’ to Federico Bonelli and he did reply. He wrote that he is looking forward to introduce himself and points out the afternoon, Sunday the 9th of December starting at 13.00 hours, will be about the fact that ‘we have stuff and we have stuff we have in common. What is the value of what we share? How we count that?’ He suggest to play the game he developed, a table game that is ‘made to play with money, environment, means of production, sustainability, block chain, information, friends and foes. From this game we will talk about existence, resistance, sustainable communities, who we are for real, and exchange. This is it, I am looking forward to meet you, get to know us and exchange stories. Ah, and by the way I will teach you how to MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY’.
In that story ‘we all have something to worry about’ I also mentioned some troubles and I can say that most of the developments in this week were in conversations about the troubles, but more even about people who wanted to be in. To our surprise the locals, that don’t often speak out, came by, called, or even wrote a small question down about joining in. It seems that the weekend beforehand is being considered as something that can occur more often. I hope so. I am sure that this time most of them will silently check out if it fits them. For me all of these conversations talk directly about the point that the group who organises, and is commoning, is open and can become more divers and will show a richer field of what we can have in common. Let’s also stick to the idea that for doing so we need a constant renegotiation about what the group holds in common with awareness of discrimination, abuse, exclusion and how it uses its environment and not be afraid of making mistakes.
This week I have taken again the time to consider co-operation and education. The latter hasn’t been mentioned much before in my stories but it is on my mind. Yesterday I joined a meeting in which people from the art education in the city of Groningen talked about these beautiful makers spaces, libraries and developing new tools. One artist made this beautiful comparison between artists and farmers as we are going through troubling times for both art and food. First we need to eat of course but next to that we need to express ourselves. This morning I passed by a local who had parked his car in front of a large open landscape view in Veenkolonien, near Egberts Lent. He did so because he wanted to take some pictures of his car in this landscape, he clearly wanted to create a still of the two things that belong to him as he himself belongs to the landscape. The rural landscape is also often our foodscape and recently we start to discover it is also a financescape where wind is harvested and the profit disappears into the pockets of others.
Come by and ask for a pancake, it might just come with a very intriguing story about how buckweat came into this region all the way from China. But that is a very different story. First you have to try to get to Egberts Lent and that isn't all that easy.
Where: Egberts Lent, Hunzeweg 30, Nieuw Annerveen
What: Flea market, music, pancakes and Commonfare
When: 8-9 December, 10-17.00