Building a world of
resilient communities.

MAIN LIST

 

Rhythms of resistance

What to do with abandoned properties in Porto? Turn them into community gardens and public spaces for art, music, learning and social action. This is the fourth video in our Everyday Stories series, showcasing people who are adding more meaning and sustainability to their lives. (Video, 5 mins)

 

Yolanda was born in a small town in the Netherlands, and lost both her parents when she was very young. She grew up with different families, and later moved to a house with other young people who found themselves in similar circumstances: collective ways of living came early and naturally to her and her sister.

After completing Master’s degrees in fine arts and education, and gender studies, Yolanda travelled through Europe by bike, researching the practice and potential of alternative political communities and finally settling in the Portuguese city of Porto. Here, she’s become part of a number of collectives that have converted abandoned buildings into assets for the community.

Casa Viva” and “ES.COL.A”, for example, are self-managed social and cultural centers converted from derelict schools in low-income areas of the city. Both centers organize free debates, concerts, theatre and cinema performances, sports activities and computer workshops, and Casa Viva hosts both a weekly radio program and “Rhythms of Resistance”, a local Samba band of which Yolanda is a member.

Other projects include an urban community garden at “Quinta Musas da fontinha”, where local residents can attend free courses provided by one of the city’s universities that teach them how to use whatever small space they have to grow their own food. As Yolanda says: 

“I think it is important to know that we can actually make food almost next to our own homes, especially here in Porto where there are so many abandoned terrains that are just used for piling up garbage. Instead of supporting a system that in my opinion is falling apart, I’d rather construct some alternatives - alternative space and alternative ways of living.”

This is a series about ordinary people who are finding their own ways to lead more sustainable and meaningful lives in European cities. Over the next few months on Transformation, I will be sharing some of these stories to show what is possible in the here and now, if we have the courage and creativity to reach for it. 

 

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Find out more about Community Resilience. See our COMMUNITIES page
Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.

 

This is a community site and the discussion is moderated. The rules in brief: no personal abuse and no climate denial. Complete Guidelines.


The Simpler Way: Economics of Happiness   

The full length interview with Helena Norberg-Hodge from the upcoming …

Community is Created by Filling the Cup: Talking Resilience with Lynn Benander

I think that if you haven't built connections with other people when good …

Creating Livable Spaces

Architect, scientist and author Jana Revedin champions sustainability in …

Social Justice and Climate Justice Movements Merge in New Orleans 10 Years After Hurricane Katrina

Marguerite Doyle Johnston, a resident of New Orleans’ Upper 9th Ward, …

Should We Move to Bioregionalism?

“It’s time to consider that bioregional …

The Collapse of Western Civilization: Review

Collapse is a scenario of decline. The question is whether it is a useful one.

Connecting Placemaking and Resilience in New York’s Coastal Areas

A resilient place has traditionally been considered one that is capable of …