Ecoversities European Gathering 2023, June 28th - July 2nd, Le Fattize d'Arneo, Lecce, Southern Italy
Dear friends, this is an invitation to gather for 5 days as ecoversitarians at the beautiful agro-reforested camping Le Fattizze d’Arneo, in the Apulian region, an exemplary place of reciprocal relationship with Land, where interspecies cooperation, ongoing informal and experiential education, and care are part of the everyday life. An optional 2-day yatra learning journey will occur after the gathering as well.
We are reuniting new, old and perspective members of Ecoversities whose projects, experiments, and communities take shape in Europe, as a way to get to know each other and strengthen our relationships, reinforcing a translocal/transversal alliance seeking for ways to learn that are more eco centered, and environmentally and socially just. In Ecoversities how we learn, with, from, and for whom, besides and beyond the existing formal education model – is a central and ongoing conversation and an embodied, localized set of actions.
The group reuniting for this year’s edition of the regional European gathering proposes a focus on questions of regeneration, reforestation, reparation, care, alternative livelihood and economies to learn together toward a paradigmatic shift, urgent in the current social and ecological catastrophe.
We ask what type of learning processes are needed to face climate change, war, displacement, to put an end to extractivism, exploitation, neo colonialism, racist patriarchal capitalism, and build non violent relationships, in a respectful multi-species cohabitation, and human- more than human interdependence?
In the spirit of Ecoversites, the gathering is an emergent co-creation of all those wishing to participate, in whatever capacity and time they can. We invite spontaneity, playfulness, conviviality and collective organization; opportunities to expand our minds, hearts, breathing and moving our bodies together. We will share our stories, dreams, food, music, art, and our different experiences and tools, with the desire to create lasting friendships, and connect our regional and transnational networks. To bring change we need to act on both a local and planetarian scale, as well as on a personal and collective level.
We are grateful for the hosting community that is welcoming our group, and are anticipating a magic, deep, transformational learning experience for us all.
Registration and Information Package
You can access more information about this gathering in our care package: https://docs.google.com/document/d/12fIm26NTdbgVtBwvY9yIVGYno1iD_WAnkjpmS_3NRO8/edit
Make sure to register using this form ASAP to arrange the accommodations, feedings and yatras: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSci_1mlht10wOYM0lbXmGGBYmsI4JSBZOHl3h-3JlXKE83v9A/viewform
The gathering will take place at “Le Fattizze”, a multigenerational family project focusing on organic and traditional agriculture, ecotourism, food conservation and hospitality, through sensorial and experiential learning for children and visitors. They have engaged with refugees and displaced people who became part of their family. People at Le fattizze are also engaging in community reforestation, as in our area we would need 44 million of new tree to repair the damage of xilella and fires that killed thousands of hectars of olive trees and other species of the mediterranean woods.
Find out more about their project here:
Organic and traditional agriculture:
Sensorial and experiential learning:
Offerings and workshops
There is much interest in holding space for conversations around learning: on radical pedagogy as an engaged artistic form, on radical pedagogical methods & practices, alternative spaces of education, STEAM education and intersectional frameworks, soil-based learning, intergenerational exchange, community building, self organized media, and ceremonial practices as a way of learning in collectives.
Many shared a desire to connect through creative expression, spirituality, philosophy, and to investigate conflict resolution, animism and shamanic practices, disability studies, collaborative, playful, embodied and somatic practices. There are wishes for holding space for different forms of activism and solidarity: creating strong connections with and between existing initiatives, Internationalist solidarity beyond Europe, digital and food sovereignty.
We have received many offerings: a workshop on youth engagement and environmental regeneration, on drawing, dreaming, meditating with trees, a group session on healing, on collective grief and learning with death, and making seed bombs (the only bombs we like) . there will be opportunities to share other proposals when together.
We are looking forward to hosting and activating Intentions, offerings and desires, to keep cross-pollinating and co-weaving. Please bring your tools, toys, stories and dreams.
About the Ecoversities Alliance
The Ecoversities Alliance is a trans-local community of over 200 transformative learning spaces from around the world who have been meeting and working together since 2015 through international and regional gatherings, learning exchanges, campaigns, workshops, learning journeys, film festivals and publications.
It is an emerging knowledge movement that is slowly building all over the world. A part of this movement can be described as a network of ‘eco-versities’—people, organizations, and communities who are reclaiming knowledge systems and a cultural imaginary to restore and re-envision learning processes that are meaningful and relevant to the challenges of our times.
Although diverse in its origins, these different pedagogical initiatives both critique the existing education systems, and cultivate new practices to regenerate ecological, social, and cultural ecosystems, whilst also reflecting on the meanings of ‘home’ as locality and as an ‘economy’: hence the name ‘eco-versities’.
To further the collaborations and intensify the relationships and the mutual learning among this wider network, the Eco-versities plenary gathering was organized by practitioners engaged in creating learning sites, both outside and inside the conventional academia.