Thursday, February 6, 2014

Shout Out #4!

Heeeeyy there!

...It's crazy how fast time flies, especially when you're doing 
something you're enjoying. We still seem to be getting over the Christmas season, but at the same time, the first month of 2014 has already passed by. Our "off" week in the beginning of the year, gave us a little bit of time to chill out, observe and ponder with an "outsider"'s point of view on the first few months of Ġugar! All we can say is that not even a whole month would be enough to start doing this! You get a really strange feeling when you start thinking on the relativity of sometimes life seems to go so 'fast', yet it is really going 'slow' or how things seem to be moving so slow, but yet time is there, forever ticking, or is it?
photo by Nadege Cassar

January saw us kicking off with the promotion of a series of DIY for self-reliance workshops in Ġugar! We had a really positive feedback from people who were interested in attending these workshops – it’s great to see young people, male and female, interested in the skills and knowledge our great-parents used to possess, but somehow lost to modernity and fast living. Rather than promoting the idea of a DIY attitude as solely one that can help us get closer to a self-sufficient life and help us save money, we wanted to promote the great feeling we get when we connect with the things we relate to and consume, through the beautiful act of creation. As the economist E.F. Schumacher beautifully puts it:

photo by Nadege Cassar
.......[but] to grow or make some things for myself: what fun, what exhilarion, what liberation from any feelings of utter dependence on organisations! What is perhaps even more: what an education of the real person! To be in touch with actual processes of creation. The inborn creativity of people is no mean or accidental thing: neglect or disregard it, and it becomes an inner source of poison. It can destroy you and all your human relationships; on a mass scale, it can – nay, it inevitably will – destroy society..”. – E.F. Schumacher

With this in mind, we started off with Christian Muscat (Il-poqq) holding a workshop on knife-making. Chris took us through the whole process of making your own knife from a piece of flat-bar metal, complete with a wooden handle. We will now try to convince him to engrave “Ġugar!” on the metal part of the knife and proudly hang it on one of our walls...

Our next session is about brewing beer at home. Make sure you check out our page here to keep updated. At the time of writing, there are only a couple of places left, and since our space is quite limited, we can only open the sessions for a maximum of up to 15 people. We will then have a session on soap-making on Wednesday 5th March and another one on Maltese-bread making on Wednesday 12th March. In the spirit of voluntary co-operation, we are not asking for a booking charge for the sessions. This way, we ensure
that the sessions are also accessible to people who cannot pay. We are doing this consciously in opposition to the fixed price policy, which imposes the same price for everybody and the same. This good opportunity for us to put into practice what we believe in: equality, solidarity and free exchange of information.

January also saw us participating in the competition called Tropical Wholefoods Recipe Competition organised by Core-green in Malta. Ann created this delicious dish: GRILLED MUSHROOM TACOS WITH MANGO PINEAPPLE KIDNEY BEAN SALSA – A gluten free, vegan dish with an asian touch by using some of the products from Tropical Wholefoods – a range of delicious fair traded foodstuffs. The mother company in the UK will shortlist their favourite 5 recipes and have the Tropical Wholefoods staff cook them up and carry out a company-wide tasting to pick a winner. Wish us some luck! Keep informed about all of this by checking out the core-green blog here

We also held a second film screening at Gugar, and this time, we had a great turnout. Florian, a friend of ours from France paid us a visit and we took the opportunity to screen his DIY movie called “BOLIGAKSJON” – a documentary about squatting in Oslo, Norway. As the tagging of the movie goes:

“Squatting in Norway?

Yes, there aren't only trolls in this big cold country in the North of Europe, but also many cute "rats" that are just trying to make it through the capitalist jungle and wagging their long tails to point towards a big unspoken truth: As the rising cost of housing continues, so does the number of empty abandoned houses being left to fall apart continues to grow. They will be left empty until their value rises, and then will eventually be turned into parking lots or some luxury apartment...but these rats won't let this happen without a fight...”

At the end of the month, we also had Immanuel Mifsud stopping at Ġugar! to hold another session of his Aqrali, qaltli literary nights. We set up the basement with cosy, candle lit atmosphere. We're quite bummed that we were stuck upstairs, with no time to witness the movement of spirits in our basement...and we also apologise to those who came but found no space. But we guess that's a good sign. It's not so common that people turn out for these kind of events. Catch Immanuel at some other venue, by checking out the page Aqrali, qalti. Here is a picture of Immanuel from the night..

...and hey!  Do not hesitate to contact us, should you have the initiative to organize some event that fits our philosophy at Ġugar. Ġugar! is a place for good living – hanging out, books, discussing, DIY, having a good time with friends...anything that helps us get in touch with ourselves and others! Get in touch if you connect to our vibrations!

You should still be able to view our facebook page, even if you do not have a facebook account, through this link:

...until next time!

The Ġugar! Crew