A coliving space is integrated into the social environment of a city, town, or region. One of the essential roles of a community builder in a coliving space is to be able to identify how to encourage the creation of harmonious coexistence between the coliving community and the neighbors and the environment in which the space is located.
The reasons for encouraging this interrelationship are multiple. Promoting positive networking makes it easier for new projects with a positive impact on the environment to emerge. It allows your coliving community to create new bonds with local people. It also gives long-term stability to the coliving project because the more favorable and positive our relationship with the environment is, the more likely the coliving community want to be part of it.
That’s why creating projects that have a positive impact on the environment of your coliving space is a powerful and fulfilling strategy.
Here we share our experience developing the Inside Out project in Anceu coliving thanks to our partner Andreea.
You can replicate this project also in your area based on the theme you want to create positive awareness together with your coliving community.
What is Inside Out?
Inside Out is a global participatory art project, initiated by the French photographer JR.
After winning the TED prize in 2011, JR expressed his wish to “change the world” by turning it ‘inside out’.With the $100,000, from the TED Prize JR set about achieving this by giving the power of representation back to the people.
The project, inspired by JR’s large-format street pastings, is open to anyone to participate in, anywhere in the world. The idea behind it is to place emphasis on the people and their stories behind each action or cause. Apart from the printing of portraits, participants have full control of both the creative process (taking their pictures) and the pasting process (the installation of the posters).
By using strictly black-and-white portraits, which are printed and then pasted in an exterior space, each group action can make a statement in the form of public artwork and share its message with the rest of the world.
Why did we decide to develop Inside Out at Anceu Coliving?
When we started thinking of how to get involved in this project we wanted to do something for the community. So the Rural Revival idea was born with the desire in mind to Act locally in order to have an impact Globally.
We came with the idea of Rural Revival because we want to focus on working for the revitalization of rural areas. We aim to contribute to the transformation that rural areas need, providing solutions to the existence of depopulated areas, with less and less activity and fewer support networks.
Specifically in Spain, 48% of current municipalities have a population density of fewer than 12.5 inhabitants per square kilometer, a threshold above which the European Union considers density to below. From 2011 to 2017, almost 62% of Spanish towns lost inhabitants, according to data from the Government Commissioner for the Demographic Challenge.
The rural areas offer endless possibilities and a better quality of life, which has been demonstrated after the crisis resulting from covid 19. Some data to be highlighted are the following:
- The average cost of living in rural areas continues to be lower than the cost of living in overcrowded urban environments.
- Access to the network opens the door to a decentralized educational world. There is still a long way to go, but there are already many towns with 4G or fiber-optic connections.
How did we develop this photographic art project?
First of all, we had to think of an idea that is worth spreading, then we had to write the speech for the Inside Out company so they would accept our proposal.
Said and done. After one week of writing the proposal and having a conversation with them on the phone, they approved our proposal.
We then spoke with the mayor of Ponte Caldelas to see if he will approve pasting our posters in the city on the public walls.
The next step was to take at least 50 portraits within the local community from Anceu Village and Ponte Caldelas, including our Anceu colivers.
We made two open calls for the people to come and join our art movement. The first meeting was here, in Anceu Coliving, for one day. We had people coming to support our initiative but also to get to know the place. Since we opened last year, we didn’t have the chance to have this place open for everybody, but this calling for people to came and take portraits for the project was a good opportunity to discover the place also.
The second call was for the people of Ponte Caldelas, and the mayor offered us the space of the public library to go and take portraits there. He was supportive of our idea and he even helped us with the necessary material to paste the posters once they arrive.
It took almost 2 months for this project to come to life.
We took a total of 80 portraits with the local people here, and when they arrived we started pasting. The moment when we were pasting the portraits on the public city’s walls, people came to us and asked us what is this about, so that they founded it out about Anceu Coliving and our Rural Revival initiatives.
This action was important to us because we want to establish a dialog between rural and urban. To bring awareness of the reality of rural areas that can create sustainable connections with urban areas.
Thanks to the campaign we will build networks and connections from the countryside to the world.