La Xarxaire wants to be a space for local socioeconomic impulse as well as artistic and cultural revitalization!!!
We want to give the ground floor a use as a showcase, instead of becoming a private commercial space, to promote artistic, artisanal and cultural initiatives from La Barceloneta, potentiating the socioeconomic development of the local community, enhancing and making the local economy visible. We aim to make the ground floor showcase of the housing cooperative La Xarxaire a reality to make the entrepreneurial residents of the neighbourhood visible. We want to be a window, an opportunity, an amplified voice for these socioeconomic initiatives which have been made invisible.
La Xarxaire is a cooperative formed by residents of La Barceloneta with very strong ties to the neighbourhood, an entity which proposes a different way of living and relating to one another through a project of self-managed community living. Although our cooperative has just been recently formed, we want to become another agent who reinforces the Social and Solidarity Economy of La Barceloneta, to be a platform which allows this model to be replicated. A new model of housing which is free from the speculative circuit of buying and selling and abusive rental prices that currently reigns over our city. A model of community living with mutual support and responsibility towards its immediate surroundings.
La Barceloneta of today is a victim of a ruthless process of gentrification, privatization and commercialization of public space. This has led to its residents being dramatically driven out as a result of real-estate speculation which our neighbourhood suffers from. In the face of these great challenges and contradictions in a neighbourhood with a strong cooperative tradition, we have opted for a transformative model of housing where people, the local community and sustainable living are placed in the front and centre, with a strong and unwavering commitment to our surroundings.
Description of the project. Main features, strengths and differentials.
We want to create this showcase-window on the ground floor of La Xarxaire for it to become a transformative socioeconomic project which has a direct impact on the neighbourhood, a project which defends and proposes a real alternative to the economic model that holds our society prisoner, enhancing and making the local economy visible.
Through the ground floor, La Xarxaire wants to be:
- A space for local cultural and artistic impulse and revitalization.
- A neighbourhood initiative which reinforces the social and solidarity economy of La Barceloneta.
- Another neighbourhood collective which defends the identity, culture and tradition of La Barceloneta.
- A platform for a new model of housing for La Barceloneta and the city.
Our objectives for the ground floor of La Xarxaire are:
- To generate a space for assemblies and meetings related to initiatives which give back to the community, as well as contribute to its social and solidarity economy.
- To be a space for work and socioeconomic development of the members of the collective who need it.
- To create a showcase/amplified voice which serves as a window to the artistic, artisanal and cultural initiatives of the residents of La Barceloneta, potentiating their socioeconomic development.
Why this is important
We live in a society with highly-precarious employment conditions. Temporary and badly-paid jobs which make it impossible to build a decent future and a respectable life project. In this sense, we find professional sectors that experience this precariousness even more dramatically: sectors like craftwork, art, sociocultural activities…These are professionals, mostly freelance, who have to bear a high economic load to move their projects forward (freelance fees, taxes, rent for their workspace…).
In La Barceloneta, the high price of rents for working spaces makes it even more unsustainable. Few available spaces and exorbitant prices. With this scenario, the local community finds itself with a commercial network that is weak, unvaried and threatened by the speculation which the neighbourhood is currently suffering from. The small business, the one that has always been around, is disappearing.
In spite of this, we have detected very interesting and encouraging socioeconomic initiatives coming from the neighbourhood, albeit with low visibility and insufficient recognition.
La Xarxaire wants to be this window, on the very busy street Paseo Joan de Borbó, which gives the impulse and impact on a city-wide level to all these professionals who create pieces of craftwork which are unique, locally-made and come with a high added value. We will talk to professionals of artisan crafts (textiles and clothes, shoe-making, ceramics, jewellery-making, carpentry, book-binding…) so that they can exhibit and give exposure to their work in the format of “resident artist” or pop-ups, with a residence of perhaps three months, with the objective of being able to offer the opportunity to different entrepreneurs from the neighbourhood.
Team and experience
La Xarxaire is a very young cooperative which started to come together in the fall of 2016. However, the vast majority of the members were already connected through being part of various sociocultural initiatives and from participating in the neighbourhood.
Although we are an interdisciplinary group (architects, historians, anthropologists, artists, event producers, designers, political scientists…), the cooperative is very lucky to have on board individuals who formed the Planeta Barceloneta association (artists and artisans from La Barceloneta), who also have their own artistic and cultural projects like Barceloneta Sonora, Nyam Nyam Time or Constructors de Fantasies. Their artistic activity around popular culture and tradition are very present in La Barceloneta and they collaborate with different public facilities in the neighbourhood such as the Community Centre of La Barceloneta, the Barceloneta Library-La Fraternitat, La Fábrica del Sol (sustainable living), el Ateneu de Fabricació (Fab Lab), el Pla Comunitari de la Barceloneta/Barceloneta Proa a la Mar (community projects) or the schools in the neighbourhood, among others. Putting on fairs, exhibitions, workshops and constructing decorations and accessories for local festivals, as well as participating actively in the community, helping revitalize traditional popular festivals of La Barceloneta or collaborating with the rest of the associative network of the neighbourhood.
La Xarxaire is also present in the sphere of Social and Solidarity Economy, participating in the housing sector in relation with Coòpolis (a network of cooperatives) and linked to local development projects like Barceloneta Proa a la Mar del Pla Comunitari de la Barceloneta.