Volunteers fertilising the ground. Photo (CC): Copyright: Torekes De Site
In a deprived district of the small Belgian city of Ghent, the local Toreke coin reveals how big the transformative impact of alternative currency systems can be.
Ilias Cosé approaches me self-assuredly. The 60-year-old has a mischievous smile on his face and is wearing a black sweater with the words ‘De Site’ on it. This is the name of a plot of land in the extremely heterogeneous and socio-economically deprived Ghent district of Rabot-Blaisantvest where an alternative coinage system has been introduced. The residents – men and women from a wide variety of backgrounds and faiths – come together here to earn a few extra cents and to meet other people.