We have decided to share some of our crew members’ thoughts on why they personally decided to dedicate their summer to our cause.
Although our core message and ideology is: “Single use plastic is slowly killing our water resources and every one of us has the power and responsibility to change that” every one of us have personal reasons and motivations driving us too, and these are also important to us.
The first post is an edit (‘cause editing is one of the things that the two of us who sit on the couch with computers all day do) of a message (An)tony sent to his friends recently.
“As you know I’ve been asking people for donations for the junk armada project. I received some feedback from a friend who felt it was not helping environmentally and we just wanted an excuse for a jolly river trip.
At the moment we are working and living in a post-industrial work commune – tied into very large anti-capitalist industrial structures, co-operatives and outreach programmes. Within the industrial Catalan region things are bad, very bad. Huge numbers of factories, full on resources, materials, and working spaces are derelict.
What the residents of Calafou are doing is how I like to think of recycling; re-using forgotten materials and sharing skills, swopping, growing, developing and building networks / communities. In my opinion recycling has been stereotyped in order to make it easier to consume in an ironic way – believing that the plastic is taken care of once you put it in the right recycling bin is part of the problem. We need to start thinking where it goes (usually a landfill or the ocean!) and how we can prevent it from getting there.
This project has been the steepest learning curve of my life. We have learnt a huge amount from the people at here which we will naturally share with local communities along our journey. We are working hard to communicate the right messages.
Obviously stuff like handmade recycled crafts and boats aren’t going to change the world. Parts of the Ebro are completely ruined environmentally and although this might not be about cleaning rivers and chasing purist ideals, it’s about trying to change people’s respect for material and our vital natural resourced.
I want to help people see what they can create from trash and help them to understand their resources. By sharing our experiences to a large community online we are hopefully encouraging people think about alternative approaches to waste. Simple things, like checking for wood in skips before buying it, or sharing skills and working on projects yourself rather than going to a professional.
This has been the most challenging project I’ve ever worked on, but I know it will help sculpt what I choose to do with my skills going forward and hopefully help to change the status quo.”
Tony and his assistant / editor Helena.