Errekaleor Bizirik is a project based in Gasteiz that is founded on the ideals of self-determination and communal life. It is a neighborhood that we have reclaimed from gentrification and real estate speculation and is now called home by over 150 people.
We organize ourselves using an assembly process, which allows us to build the overarching ideas of the project and to coordinate the many activities that are taking place in the neighborhood. Our project is based on the fundamental principles of self-management (autogestion), food sovereignty, feminism, Basque cultural reinvigoration, horizontal organization, and emancipatory culture. We regularly have concerts, movies, workshops and lectures, art expositions, and much more in order to encourage and create space for free cultural expression in Gasteiz.. All these events take place in the spaces we have built together in the neighborhood, such as a concert hall, theatre, social center, and more.
We have a 5-acre community farm and a bakery where we grow produce and bake sourdough bread, both for ourselves and for individuals who live in other parts of Gasteiz who want to know the true quality of their food. We also have free Basque language classes in our social center and a sports center where anyone can come to play pelota (a traditional Basque sport), participate in our boxing classes, or try out acrobatics. To build ties with other cooperative organizations, we have a printing shop where we create various types of pamphlets and books in collaboration with other organizations in the region.We have built a recording studio for local bands, where they can record for free and not tie themselves to labels or contracts. In Errekaleor Bizirik we have created these spaces, and many more, in order to continue to bring life into an abandoned neighborhood, creating a neighborhood full of life for all.
We are immersed in a system that requires a constant consumption of energy in order to propel constant economic growth. In an era where we have proven ourselves incapable as a society of rejecting fossil fuels, we have also reached the limits of our possible oil production. Peak oil will arrive in the coming decades, and we expect the same for uranium. As climate change effects clearly show, we are nearing the physical and biological limits of the planet, destroying the global ecosystem. The symptoms of this crisis go by many names: the energy crisis, the social crisis, the ecological crisis. But these are just symptoms, and the disease remains the same: capitalism.
In Errekaleor we work towards a different way of living. In a world where things are meant to be thrown away, we have spent four years turning rubble into homes, weed-filled land into gardens, and empty streets into a community. We have done this under the broad banner of self-determination and self-management. Now the time has come for energy sovereignty. Luckily, in Errekaleor the sun always shines! To accomplish this new task, we want to install around 550 solar panels in order to cover the energy needs of our 150 inhabitants, a process that will be accompanied by a large decrease in our consumption of energy overall and the use of alternative systems of refrigeration and water heating. We will do this in our communal way, which is to say that these solar panels will be accessible equally to all residents of Errekaleor Bizirik, and will be accompanied individual and DIY projects such as our new solar showers and bicycle machines that generate extra electricity for our communal living spaces.
This plan is organized to centralize the solar panels in the space that has the most sun, and to equally provide energy to all residents. With this, we will create the largest energy self-sufficient and off-the-grid space in both Basque Country and Europe. We want a renewable and ecologically-friendly neighborhood. We believe in creating a new model for energy independence. Will you help us accomplish our dreams?
Want to know more?
Facebook: Errekaleor Bizirik
Twitter: @Errekaleor – Errekaleor Bizirik
Youtube: Canal Errekaleor Bizirik
Email: [email protected]