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Reflections on our dreams

posted Oct 1, 2009, 8:10 AM by Manuel Lombardi   [ updated Oct 1, 2009, 9:14 AM ]
The title is too poetic: sorry, try to read it in a non-romantic way.
In the past months I spent hours talking about the project, now I'm going to write down my reflections.

Although we never tried to define PV in unique way, I realized that my vision of the project was different from anybody else's. Right now, it seems to me that ProjectVolunteering is:
- confined into the physical borders of the flat in Schoenhauser Allee 146
- focused on the minimization (does this word exists?) of private belongings
- led by statements and rules, more than by common sense
while the picture I had of this project as a baby was:
- structured as a network with various active partecipants, not necessarly living together, sometimes even living abroad
- focused on mutual sharing of ideas and knowledges
- led by common sense in a friendly way

everything changes, and now I see our dream vanishing and turning into something completely different I don't have anything to share with.

Few hours ago I watched this video:

I don't want to blame who spent his time in the making of this, but I feel it wrong in multiple ways. For the first 4 minutes I reapeted myself that it had to be a joke, something realized a long time ago in a moment of boredom, a bit like the signs "<--couchsurfers - humans-->" in the hallway few months ago.
Why I think is so terrible? because if you search youtube for "projectvolunteering" that is the only result, so I believe that whoever uploaded it thought it gave a good impression of the entire project. What I saw was Jeremie, singing and playing, listing what are the rules of the flat, showing proud the outbox with a full backpack inside, saying that you should "throw away what you don't use" and so on. I feel all this wrong because I thought rules were guidelines, not statements (don't you remember that "we don't know what is good for you"?); because I believed in reusing, repairing and recycling, not in throwing away, and also because nobody posted that video here, in the official platform of the project. If this is meant to be seriously an "educational video", I'm surprised in the most bitter way by who made it.
Ok, stop with the video now.

Often I asked myself why it's so great to live at the Caravan (as I still call the flat). My conclusion is that that place has several issues we are not able to get rid of:
- is expensive: the current residents spend 230€ monthly to mantain it
- is small, too small for 15 ppl (too small for 10, in my opinion)
- doesn't promote knwoledge sharing: there's no space for everybody to work, not to mention how difficoult is organizing workshop there. I'm still saddened from when I organized a food-photography workshop and someone asked me to have it at my place (big pink) because at the Caravan was impossible, then nobody came.
- is not anymore a party place, and lately not even a resource for couchsurfers
- is difficoult to find time to enjoy each other's company, as discussed in the past 2 meetings
Now I ask you, people living in Schoenhauserallee 146, why is still worth to stay there? I'm really, really confused, especially because I see many people enthusiast but not willing to change anything. At the past few meetings we only discussed about cleaning, collecting the rent and getting food; important issues, I believe it, but that's it?

At the Big Pink House often we discussed about ProjectVolunteering. We don't have a common conclusion or some relevant suggestion to improve the project, unfortunately, but fom those discussions I still have some open questions:
- why nobody (me included!) thinks is time to look for another flat?
- why many people is still pushing to live at the Caravan, even if it's obvious that there's no space for so many ppl?
- why nobody uses the website? I always found it a good tool to document everything!
- in february the contract will end and Vicky doesn't want to renovate it with her name. what is going to happen? the decision should be taken before november ends, why it's not discussed often?