Lafabrika detodalavida is a name known by everyone in its context. Either because of its history as the cement factory, or as its current presence a community space. It is the name of a place that welcomes dreamers and allows experimentation of social and cultural things. Although located far from the city, in a rural setting, it is a place that instills curiosity and gives a reason to stay. The reborn building from the ruins and the creative space has become a symbol of exploration and teenage adventure in Extremadura, a rural region of western Spain. As many other community cultural places, LaFabrika de toda la vida was also impacted by the sudden closing down of the world during the Covid-19 pandemic. But the community did not lose hope, nor did they take time off. This still and silent time was productively used by the community of Lafabrika and affirmed as ‘an important period of self-reflection’. Now this beautiful project needs your support.
“…We have updated a lot of things, renewed a lot of strategies, and shaped a lot of dreams to tangible results. It was a year and a half full of self-reflection for us. …we had to close our doors to the public and only the inner community was involved. But the managing committee was active and we were working on many things for improvement.”
The main driving force of Lafabrika has always been meeting new people, sharing joy and building a strong community together. Although the pandemic restricted this in many ways, the community did not lose hope. This time was used to look inside both the building and the project, and start much needed improvements. The team studied its legal and contractual agreements with the City Hall, planned for fruitful events for after the lockdown, and started practical steps to improve the space and the project it is inhabiting.
A crowdfunding campaign promoted by, La Kacharreria, one of the five main programs of Lafabrika was started. It is big warehouse that has recently been rearranged with reused materials. These materials are related to theater and cinematography, and at the same time it is also a workshop where main renovation and rehabilitation works of the factory take place. The main finances that are required by the team are for the repair of the roof of the factory building. This crowdfunding campaign will utilize the funds for the improvement of the workshop, the roof repair works and will also be utilized for rebuilding the laboratory, Autopias, in Lafabrika.
“…We want to use the lab as a residency for artistic activities. We have made plans and ideas and we have the need for space. Many events are planned for summer that will make use of the laboratory. We are hoping and asking for collaboration everywhere.”
“…We planted a lot of vegetation and studied the soil around the building, which was very contaminated. We contacted many experts to recover the soil through natural processes. Another important thing that happened during this time was work on the warehouse in Lafabrika. We arranged the whole warehouse of recycled materials from the city hall. And a workshop was arranged to create things related to theater and cinematography. It is a big and complete workshop and where furniture can be made for theaters.”
Autopias is a laboratory under construction that will act as an artistic residency for artists coming from different parts of the world. It will host and house creative individuals for easy and friendly exchange of ideas and creativity.
…By posting and promoting this crowdfunding campaign, we either get funds or more people get to know about us. It is also a positive thing for us. Right now our extended community is very supportive. We want to get more external support for this cause. We are convinced and confident about our cause for this crowd funding campaign because we need the laboratory. It will give us the freedom to bring more people in without having to worry about where will the artist will live or stay during their visit.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, like many other places, Extremadura also saw the return of many young people who had settled in the city for better opportunities. People who had left for the cities because their skills and creativity could not be utilized in the small town, were given a reason to stay by Lafabrika.
…One of our friends came back from Madrid who was working in theater. Normally he wouldn’t be able to work in our area with his knowledge and expertise. But Lafabrika gives the opportunity to make use of the skills and knowledge.
Through its flexible management and organizational system, it welcomes different individuals to manage different tasks, and not any activity solely depends on one individual. The whole project and space is owned by everyone and no one at the same time. It gives opportunity for every individual to be a part of a greater cause and own the place, at any step on their involvement.
Lafabrika is a cultural and creative space that can be used by every member of the community, the program Cine Al Fresco kept the community busy when the lockdown restrictions were eased, by an open air film screening. Not only does it become a leisure activity, but also becomes a space for raising awareness about different issues through the projection of documentaries and critical films. Even without a planned activity, it is a place where people gather to experience the architecture, be a part of the renovation, or simply take a stroll around a periphery. It is an example of dynamic communal, cultural, and creative space.
Eutropian is proud partner of the Open Heritage project, which identifies and tests the best practices of adaptive heritage re-use in Europe. We lead the research on case studies and produced documentary films on select sites.