The challenge of Knowledges, an educational platform, is to manage and continue significant learning experiences, self-motivated and devoid of hierarchies, that are aimed at developing the autonomous power of groups and individuals who operate within the limits of the barrio where inSite/Casa Gallina is located. In addition, this platform distributes in Santa Maria la Ribera’s public and private spaces, collections of useful, verifiable and practical knowledge that are in dialogue with the population’s diverse interests. Knowledges is focused on regenerating the social fabric and revitalizing the community’s life in accordance with the many different interests and motivations of specific groups as identified after a careful engagement process with the community.
Mainly focused on creating an Archive, Knowledges will function as an information center for Casa Gallina’s team and for groups involved with the project; it will also generate a distribution and interaction network for some existing platforms in the neighborhood that attract different groups in the community. This information, bibliographic and multimedia center will also nurture collective knowledge and contribute to its distribution and activation in such a manner that it will encourage involvement in production in the public domain, as well as critical thinking and social creativity in the barrio.
The main topics of this information center will focus on sustainability, architecture and urban planning, housing, city and territory, popular culture, urban visibility, food, sociology and defense of leisure. However, the contents will be constantly reconfigured according to the interests and needs of groups connected to the house.
1. Knowledges archives:
The collection of books, magazines, digital and audiovisual material for the Knowledges archives is made possible thanks to donations and partnerships with publishers, public institutions, agents, and private organizations related to the project. It also contains materials generated in the different platforms of the house, such as socio-economic studies, procedural records, and educational and outreach materials.
Distribution network of documentaries sold at stands offering pirated movies.
Several documentaries in DVD format have been distributed to three pirate movies stands with the intent of having vendors include them in their offers. The titles provided and distributed have the Creative Commons seal, which allows inSite/Casa Gallina free distribution according to the law.
The Trainings program focuses on designing and implementing courses and workshops on technical and theoretical instruction. The contents are determined after assessing the needs, motivations and skills of the participants, using qualitative and quantitative tools that may help define the best and most consistent learning processes; nevertheless, content is adjusted according to an ongoing process of dialogue with the community.
The aim of Trainings is to provide a learning platform for specific groups and to offer useful tools to improve the participants’ finances, everyday environment and quality of life. Also considered is the exponential impact of these workshops and courses on the barrio’s fabric as the knowledge and skills achieved by the groups are shared with the community.
The courses are centered on technical and professional training programs and are targeted at specific groups in the neighborhood. They are designed in accordance with collective interests and motivations so that participants may have access to specific jobs. Courses may be determined as a result of research and interviews with neighborhood groups, but they may also offer a continuity of personal development to groups that have participated with artists or agents in short-term creative processes. Depending on their content, courses may extend over a period of three to five months.
Organized in special sessions, Workshops for neighborhood groups are intended to stimulate creative responses to practical everyday situations. Their aim is also to strengthen a sense of belonging, to establish bonds between the community and Casa Gallina and to encourage the exchange of applied knowledge in daily situations.
Many Workshops focus on some kind of critical approach to alternative economic models, either through Casa Gallina’s urban farm and/or kitchen; other Workshops encourage an exchange and a dialogue on specific issues concerning the neighborhood reality.
Open Kitchen workshops
Using hands-on learning techniques, the Open Kitchen workshops are aimed at encouraging critical thinking and collective action on daily practices concerning the culinary arts, such as the importance of rethinking eating and consumption habits as well as assessing the social rituals and political-economic implications concerning food.
A program of 10 independent cooking workshops was designed, aimed at cooks and staff members in local food businesses in the barrio and focused on preparing cost-efficient dishes with high nutritional value that are adapted to the businesses’ profiles.
In the first year of this platform, 10 workshops were offered with the continued participation of 14 local businesses. Workshops were followed by talks on topics such as nutrition, responsible consumption and urban agriculture. To close this first cycle, participants will cater a meal for a venerable group in the community.
Urban Farm Workshops
Urban Farm is a hands-on educational platform that aims at training community members on issues such as sustainability, ecology, food independence and responsible consumption. In addition, the garden provides specific tools for economic action and for improving consumer habits in neighbors, using knowledge and training to facilitate decision-making concerning their environment and life style.
The first workshop on urban agriculture extended over a four-month period, and the second herbalist workshop will continue until February 2016.