Facing the increasing disappearance of crafts, practices and local traditional knowledge (eco-knowledge) as well as the unceasing detachment of human beings with their environment’s resources, we propose a research, compilation and valorization of this eco-knowledge, allowing relations between different generations and the oral transmission between the people who keep them and those who want to discover them.
The project aims, initially, to create a digital and open database that gives information on where and how to find the eco-knowledge that still exists in Valencia’s territory. The focus is on the knowledge related to crafts and industry, traditional construction, ethnobotany (medicinal and cosmetic uses), and food transformation, among others. The digital database will give information on the persons or associations that practice, know or promote eco-knowledge, in order to facilitate their visibility and diffusion and enable the approach to them.
This database about people and eco-knowledge will be compiled through field work.
Also, information provided by local people will be gathered in a collective process of socialization and consultation that will be carried out previously with a working group established in the area. Subsequently all information will be compiled and uploaded on a web platform.
The scope of the project is to cover the entire territory of Valencia, dividing it into specific territorial units to limit the scale. This will allow developing the work in phases, as well as understanding the territory’s diversity, through units with similar characteristics.
The first phase will focus on the Natural Park in the mountain range of Sierra de Espadán and on the implementation of the web platform as a database to be completed as the research progresses.
Description of the project. Main features, strengths and differentials.
We have previously carried out a pilot project "ARRELANT EL TERRITORI. LA SERRA D'ESPADÀ" that was made as a bicycle trip, during 25 days, through the 19 villages located inside the Natural Park of Sierra de Espadán. During the tour the team stopped for one or two days in each village and asked the local population about people who carry out local traditional practices linked to the resources of the environment (eco-knowledge), as well as associations and groups that promote the value of these traditions, in order to find them and converse with them. The search was done at the village’s meeting points (plazas, bars, centers for the elderly, cultural associations, etc.)
In this moment we want to deepen the research information compiled through the pilot project, and launch a public web platform that contains:
- A digital mapping that will compile the location and information of this eco-knowledge located in Sierra de Espadán and the people or groups of people that practice them, practiced them or promote them. The plan is to complete the map in the future, covering the entire territory of Valencia. Proposed mapping categories are:
- Crafts and industry
- Traditional building
- Ethnobotany (medicinal or cosmetic uses)
- Food Transformation
- A search engine associated with mapping where, through a series of filters, the user will be able to find the eco-knowledge of his/her interest and contact the person or group that practices it.
You can check the summary of the pilot project in this video and document:
Why this is important
Agents directly involved in the project
-- Persons who "keep" local traditional knowledge (eco-knowledge).
-- Artists and craftsmen who work with resources linked to the territory.
-- Associations and groups related to the subject that disseminate or promote eco-knowledge.
-- Local institutions (town halls, centers for the elderly, ethnological museums, universities, etc.).
-- Local people who want to teach or learn eco-knowledge linked to the natural resources of their territory.
-- Institutions, associations or groups that work in the cultural dynamization of the territory.
-- Educational centers that want to raise awareness about the importance of local traditional knowledge (eco-knowledge).
-- Professionals (craftsmen, architects, designers, artists, publishers, producers in general, etc.) that want to give a new focus to their work.
-- Researchers (historians, anthropologists, sociologists, etc.)
-- Centers for the reintegration of unemployed that want to focus on new opportunities linked to the territory's resources.
-- Higher education centers and universities.
Goals of the crowdfunding campaign
To investigate, to identify, to socialize and to revaluate the local traditional knowledge (eco-knowledge) as intangible heritage with the objective of looking for strategies for its transmission, its reinterpretation and adaptation to the current economic and social needs, from an environmentally friendly perspective.
1-Identify and visualize local traditional knowledge (eco-knowledge) that is getting lost and assess the intangible heritage of each territory, as well as the people who "keep" it.
2-Generate an open and accesible database where one would be able to find people who "keep" eco-knowledge and their relationship with the territory where the raw material is obtained.
3-Promote exchange between generations and facilitate oral transmission, allowing the exchange of knowledge and traditional practices.
4-Value local product. Know and value the process of creation and manufacture of goods and understand their origin in a world in which everything arrives processed.
5- Value manual work avoiding the concept of craftsmanship as a folkloric and souvenir element, giving back its ancestral meaning, in which everyday needs were solved with what was found in the environment by working with the hands.
6- Encourage individual and collective empowerment processes through “Do It Yourself” (DIY) and "Do It Together" (DIT). Encourage people to consume less processed products and create their own alternatives.
Team and experience
We are women born and raised in a fully developed context where progress was synonymous of industrialization and economic expansion at any price. We are the daughters of this, but for us progress has more to do with values related to our history: the human-nature bond, which represents ways of doing and living linked to the territory, with its resources available and with the rest of the living beings. On a personal level, we have the need and the responsibility to rediscover the values, processes, knowledge and practices still alive but invisible, from the people who keep them, so that we can re-know, re-learn, re-think and re-build our future in a more conscious and responsible way.
We are 3 interdisciplinary architects who have worked in the field of citizen participation, research and construction with alternative techniques using local resources, emphasizing in self-construction and the creation of communities.
Our training as architects has been completed in the areas of education, cultural management, and ethical, ecological and environmental education, as well as with the participation in social movements linked to the defense of the territory.