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COMMONERS VOICES

Commonfare in Warsaw

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A sustainable restoration of a historical building in the hart of Warsaw

February 26 and 27 Raffaella Rovida, the co-author of the "Gran Jeu" and myself, have been in Warsaw to encounter and onboard to commonfare.net a striving transformation community in the hart of the Polish city.

Smolna, started as the Association of Residents of Smolna Street. Was established as a neighborhood organization working for the integration of residents and the activation of the local community by promoting civic attitudes. One of the first goals they accomplished was a model restaturation of an historic staircase, as well as security and renovation of a tenement house at Smolna 14, where their office is still located today.


We were welcomed by Jaroslav Cholodecki, the active coordinator of the association. 


He explained us how the cooperation goes and how the evolution of the naighbourhood gravitates around the idea of Warsaw as a "city of music". By now, after years of activity the association of the street is well expanded in the whole naighbourhood. They run a B&B populated with recovered fourniture from the '30es in this historical house, organise every day a Chopin Salon, have bees ont he roof and encourage planting seeds and flowers, compost their restaurant leftover, occupy people in a huge variety of free antrance activities were music is always present.


At that time, Smolna Street quickly became famous in the nationwide media, as it was one of the first of such initiatives of transformation in Poland (https://newzar.wordpress.com/2009/02/19/europe-comes-to-smolna/)


>"We proved that together we can do great things, with their range going far beyond the patron of the street."


says Jaroslav.


> In recent years, the Smolna Association has evolved from a thriving neighborhood movement into an organization whose main goal is to promote musical culture. We have established the Warsaw Music Quarter, with the Music University in its center. The Music Quarter project assumes supporting activities for the development of the Warsaw music offer, creating new scenes with live music, engaging entrepreneurs who, together with musicians, will transform Warsaw and make it a City of Music.


In the freshly renewed rooms of the top floor of the BnB we do a workshop using "le grand Jeu" to introduce themes of a local currency and sustainable economy to a well prepared group of seasoned practicioners.


The utility of a local currency to help self organising and involving the youth is recognised with some curiosity.


We then have the chance to present commonfare to the full hall of the Chopin Festival. The hall is populated by locals, Varsavians, and members of the association and in in a top location, built for the Inteligensia in the communict times and recognised for it's historical values. The association uses it well to avoid it's transformatorio in a Burger place.


> The 10th Warsaw Chopin Festival Birthday Concerts is 8 days of musical joy on the occasion of the 209th anniversary of the birth of Frederic Chopin. It is a project of creating a musical Warsaw with the largest independent festival, which takes place for many hours each day.

> We play from February 22 to March 1 in the heart of Warsaw – the festival stage will be, like in recent years, the Nowy Świat Muzyki at Nowy Świat 63 Street. Admission is free for all the events.





http://smolna.org

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The community thinking over empty spaces commons with the help of "Le Grand Jeu"

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