We want to rescue the heart piece of our communities to preserve and develop it for the people. True ecological, social and small cultural practices can be remained, foster and get connected. For a Grassrot-Democracy with no masters no slaves.
We are the people of Los Cigarrones, Andalusia. A loose network made up of families, individuals and solid communities. Among us there are artists, musicians, craftsmen, eco-gardeners, midwives & doulas, activists, healers and much more. What connects us is the desire for a healthy life with and in nature in true freedom. That is why we organize ourselves, individually and collectively.
Long-term goals are self-sufficiency with vegetables and fruit through our own production as well as through cooperation with other regional small-scale producers. Decentralized energy generation through solar and wind systems, self-sufficient water supply through rainwater harvesting and water purification systems are also essential for the desired ecological and independent lifestyle. Furthermore, the existing network is to be increasingly strengthened in order to ensure individual and collective autonomy. Examples of this are the support of local, free and democratic educational projects, as well as “home schooling” networks to increase the educational options for children in the area.
This campaign is specifically about our community space. This is the center of the surrounding communities, geographically as well as symbolically, and is divided into three different areas: the covered “Cigarrones Artist Network (CAN)”, the collective garden and the co-living space.
What is the funded money used for?
The current owner, who has benevolently given us the opportunity to use the land for the past 10 years, even though he does not live here himself, has decided that he would like to sell it. Geographically, the property is in the center of the communities, so losing the land would mean losing the heart of the Cigarrones network. The sales offer is currently € 20,000 – so far we have been able to raise € 8,500 from our own financing. In order to be able to collectively buy the land as quickly as possible, we still need the remaining amount of € 11,500 that we would like to generate through this crowdfunding campaign. If we bought the land, we would take it off the capital market, so that it can no longer be sold and remains “forever” common land and continues to prosper as such.
• Repairs and, if necessary, renewal of the photovoltaic system.
We take great pride in having all of our events and music rehearsals happening without using a diesel generator, but to continue we need new batteries and an inverter.
• Renewal and completion of the communal kitchen.
Last year we created an extension of the covered area in order to enlarge the kitchen and thus guarantee an adequate supply of food and drinks at events. Here it is important to us to use resources sparingly and to upcycle as much as possible. Nevertheless, there is not enough money here to complete the construction site.
• Repair and maintenance of electronic equipment.
The regular and free use of cables through to mixing consoles, amplifiers and instruments promotes everyone’s creative streak. Everyone can let off steam independently and free of charge here, but of course that leaves its mark. We repair a lot, but at some point we have to bring in new second-hand goods.
The Collective garden
• Increase in water storage
Adequate water supply is an increasingly important task in large parts of southern Spain. Fortunately, here in Granada we benefit from an ancient irrigation system, the Acequia, which was built by the Moors, a large indigenous Arab Berber tribe. In order not to let the water flow directly from the Acequias into the garden, we are planning a so-called Alberca, a water catchment basin which provides us with 15,000 liters of water. Especially in the hot summer months when the river dries up, it would be possible for us to supply the garden with water independently and also to plant trees and hedges that are important for the water-holding capacity of the soil. We currently have established almond trees, a fig tree and a few olive trees. We would like to plant citrus trees, an avocado tree, walnut trees and pecan nut trees, as well as edible shrubs and herbs. Here we follow the principle of agroforestry, for example the arrangement of the plants in three different height areas (1st herbs, 2nd bushes, 3rd trees). In this way, the space can be used optimally, nature can heal and thus help us with greater food self-sufficiency.
• Expansion and restructuring
We would like to expand our accommodation offer in order to increase our capacity for visiting guests and thus to be able to welcome more people.
• Filling up and planting a protective wall
We live in a valley that is occasionally hit by floods. In the past, the Moors built impressive and extensive flood defenses and terraces, which kept the river flowing through the valley in its course and these were also constructed in such a way that lower terraces were enriched with rich, humus-rich soil during a flood. Unfortunately, this wisdom and ingenuity was not valued by the modern world, so the dams were neglected, crumbled, and increasingly washed away by the river. For example, three years ago we lost a lot of land, including a piece of the common land. Right now we are concerned with winning it back by building a wall. This is reinforced with deep and fast-rooting plants such as willow, eucaliptus and vetiver. Vetiver is an Indian grass which forms a very dense and four meter deep root system and is used in many parts of the world as a flood defense. In addition, it grows very well and is also non-invasive, so the local flora is not displaced.
• Reviving the lost land
Important soil and planting material were lost due to the flood, so that the soil remains partially barren and stony. As part of a large-scale reforestation program, we will regain the lost lands by reviving them by planting trees and other crops that cover the ground. This is also where our big thank you goes to you.
The money raised with EcoCrowd will be used prioritized for buying the land cause that is essential. If the stage of 11.500€ is not reached, we would invest the already raised money plus our own group finances of 8.500€ to put a deposit on the land. The rest we would get possibly thru foundations where a friend organization could apply for.
Why is the project an EcoCrowd project?
The covered area of the “Cigarrones Artists Network (CAN)” has made many different events possible in recent years. A few years ago, for example, the live stage (including bar) from the legendary “Dragon Festival” was here. Today this is used as a social center, performance or art area and also serves as a communal kitchen. Here we come together to organize, discuss, share and celebrate. It is also a place for local markets where natural, homemade food, oils, jewelry and a variety of other works of art are offered and traded. Furthermore, self-organized lessons take place here on a regular basis and once a week people from the network meet to buy collectively from an organic food cooperation. Grassroots initiatives that exchange, organize and connect with each other also meet here. In the future, we will organize networking events for such initiatives, at which they can present themselves in front of an audience, on the one hand to receive support in any form and, on the other hand, to give interested parties motivation and expertise so that they can establish a grass roots initiative themselves. In the rear area of the CAN there is also a rustic, nostalgic music bus. An old Bedfoard coach who traveled all over Europe before arriving in Spain in the 90s as part of the pioneering “Desert Storm Soundsystem”. After overheating in the hot Spanish sun, he has been here with us since 1998. It stood empty for twenty years, collecting dust and countless wasp nests until we cleared it up and turned it into a rehearsal room. Now numerous local bands use it to make music on a weekly basis. What is also special is that the electricity for rehearsals and live performances is generated exclusively by a photovoltaic system. Our weekly open mic / jam session evenings are legendary here and are blessed by the performance of international musicians.
The collective garden area is in the middle of the community space. Agriculture and the principles of permaculture are deeply rooted in all of our lives. For many years we have created our own small, individual gardens and shared vegetables, fruits and meals with each other. In March 2020, when Covid-19 broke out, we went into lockdown like most Europeans. Fortunately, however, we live here in a very fertile area in which agriculture has been the dominant industry for centuries. With an increasingly uncertain global future, we felt compelled to reassess our food guarantees and we realized we need to improve our growing options. We initiated a community garden that is placed in the middle of the community land
After a lot of work it is flourishing here and offers us and the neighboring people fruit and various vegetables. Children are always involved in the cultivation of food and so everyone can familiarize themselves with the country, come into contact and, moreover, everyone can get really dirty.
The living area is in the back of the common land where some of us live in buses and caravans. There is a small central community building which is also used as an art studio. There are also regular workshops for children from the area. All areas of the common land are organized in a grassroots democracy, which means no horizontal hierarchies, no accumulated power in the hands of a few, no rulers and no ruled.
Tell us something about yourself.
We are a small group within the free communities of Los Cigarrones and we have made it our mission to save the heart of these communities. We feel responsible for this because we recognize the purpose of the community space and have realized how essential it is as a nucleus for the network. Our small group consists of craftsmen, musicians, artists, permaculture farmers and political activists. Some members have been living here for over a decade, in neighboring communities.
Thank you for your attention! We, the people of Las Cigarrones, very much hope that the square can be saved in order to maintain a truly free, just and wild lifestyle and to call it out into the world as a holistic alternative to the increasingly obvious problems of neo-capitalism .
Sincerely, Tim, Lukas, Alfi, Morton, Ara, Vici, Lolo, Paul and Roberto.
Cheers to the international solidarity. For a life of love, freedom and justice. Thank-you!
We are the future, because ...
you can be the change that you wish for the world. You, I and like-minded people are individually seen a few drops but together we create a creek, which inspires more people and we turn into a river. The power of water is unstoppable and slowly decomposes old and fixed structures. Power to the people because the people have got the power!
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