The Ulex Centre sits in the wild-west of Catalunya. It is nested within a mountainous region – the kind of terrain that seeks to evade the hegemony of late capitalism. In many ways its a region where there is space for experiments in economic re-localisation, local and organic food production, and new forms of community living. Where better to find space for the new? To ask the deeper questions we need to ask? To explore the changes we need to make?
The building is an old farm house at the heart of a rugged little village. It is currently undergoing a phase of rennovation which we are also crowdfunding for this spring. It was bought in 2001 by a member of our collective, who has since passed it over to the project. On three floors there are numerous shared bedrooms (usually for two to three people), a spacious dining-living room, a workshop space, as well as terraces and courtyard. From full-length windows one can stand on the balcony and look out across the vast valley to the east. To the side of the main house the old barn sits awaiting funds for restoration.
There is humility to the landscape. The village itself was largely abandoned until the exodus began to be reversed over the last couple of decades. Small trickling streams cut through grey shale and ancient olive trees contort around boulders. The night sky is one of the clearest in Europe. The surrounding fields are full of aromatic wild herbs. There is something in the unkemptness that reminds us we are out in the margins here.
Although we have an international remit, acting globally doesn’t preclude acting locally. Just like the successionary plant from which we take our name, the Ulex Project is helping to create conditions for the rejuvenation of local community and sustainable economics. For years we have participated in strengthening local community. The food we provide is almost entirely locally sourced and/or organically produced. We spent years supporting re-localisation through a small local cooperative initiative and have seeded Community Supported Agricultural projects with local farmers. Our resident team is active with local and regional social movements, both as activists and trainers. Our global training programme also nourishes the locality where we are based.
Barcelona is the main transport hub to reach the Ulex Centre. For detailed travel information…