Can Decreix is a place to demonstrate and reflect around the topic of degrowth. In case you are nor familiar with the term: Degrowth is a word with many co-meanings. It is a call to scale down of the capacity to produce and consume, to scale down the importance of markets and monetary transactions in human relations, but also a proposal to live simply and critically evaluate the role of technology in human life, to keep on reconstructing the ‘joint project of society’ following the principles of deep and direct democracy.
Started by activist scientists from Research & Degrowth (www.degrowth.org), Can Decreix is a centre for transformation (of fruits, vegetables, societies), for research, for testing frugal technologies, arts and permaculture. Situated in Cerbere, a shrinking city, on the sea-side border between France and Spain, on the tail or nose of the Pyrenees, Can Decreix is a degrowth hut and space to accept limits and question borders. It is on the border of town, thus not pretending to conquer virgin territories.
Cerbere is a land of cactus, sea-side cliffs and rocky beaches, a cross-road for languages (French, Spanish and Catalan) and travelers (hosting a border train station between France and Spain). It is physically distributed between the sea and the mountain, between South and North Catalonia.
Can Decreix tries to be an open space, which is connected with its surroundings. It was created with the idea to put in practice various degrowth strategies: simplicity in living, reflection and research, organization of meetings, of political and artistic events. This involves a range of activities from the organisation of conferences and workshops, to working on practical ecology methods and organizing of hiking through the local ridges, or bicycle tours. The project strives to have minimum impact on nature, with minimum energy consumption, water recycling, solar kitchen, fridges and washing-machines without electricity.
The terrain has vineyards and olive trees, situated in the typical for Languedoc-Roussillon terrace shape construction. Intention is to grow and use as many eatable wild plants as possible, as well as to develop ecological and a forest garden.
Can Decreix is also a quiet place for to thinking and writing. The system of groovy tunnels, the enormous train station occupying the heart of the city and mostly used for the transit of cars and chemicals for sale, the memories of the once flourishing industry of train-based trade, could serve as additional inspiration to think of employment and transport in a degrowth context.
Not on the last place, the project will also function as a space to sharing living space for certain period of time (with volunteers being more than welcome).
Some more informations and Photografs: here.