Practical alternative economic models are rapidly taking shape in practice in Catalonia. Are the indignados finally harvesting? asks Peter de Jong
“Try one, they’re extremely tasty”, says Jordi, throwing one of the fruits of his orange tree in my direction. The orange-bricked terrace behind his Barcelona apartment is full of sustainable, self-reliant projects in every corner. Eggshells and coffee grounds fertilize an olive tree; a dumpster doubles as a compost heap; wooden trays grow all kinds of vegetables. Jordi has invited me over to see his latest addition—a square-metre solar panel. It hums quietly in the sunlight on this beautiful Spanish morning.
A full-time psychologist, Jordi is also an active member of various cooperatives throughout Spain and one of the founders of alternative media outlet La Marea. “This solar panel supplies around ten percent of my total energy consumption,” he calculates. “It’s not that much, but it has its political purposes.”
He points to the slogan on a poster hanging from the panel’s mount: ‘#DeSolBediencia’. It is a play on the Spanish words sol (meaning sun) and desobediencia (disobedience), and the name of a recent campaign by ECOOO, a Spanish energy cooperative working towards ‘solar revolution’.