This morning, the first formal encounter took place at the summer school, in the conference room of the Hotel Balkan (pics and videos coming up). Formal, because of course, there have been informal encounters, people meeting in planned or accidental ways in places around Europe, Bulgaria, Sofia, and now Gabrovo. About 30 persons have made their way to this wonderful site in the heart of Bulgaria, 30 'learners' (or un-learners, to paraphrase Sacha Kagan's introduction) from a number of countries: Australia, France, Cambodja, Italy, India, Indonesia, Bulgaria, Greece, Denmark, Russia, UK, US, Canada, Brazil, Egypt, to mention some. Though in this context, the nationalities already matter much less, for as one of the participants remarked, all of us already have such a wide range of action and learning that we do not feel so much as having a national identity as being members of different communities, some local, some trans-local, some global, some even virtual. Many of these networks and communities are present in the room here, and one could probably travel between them by following links from this site to the rest of the web.
The first introduction was given by Nadezhda Savova, director of the I3C
, one of the main partners of the summer school, and responsible also for two evening workshops, based in the local bread-house, turning into a community center. The focus of I3C is relevant very much so for the summer school, as it attempts to strengthen connections, forces, and collaborations between organisations, individuals, networks, and communities, that do not have a huge background in terms of power or financial resources.
NZ spoke briefly of the egg with a tap, is symbolic for the city of Gabrovo. It symbolises the reputation of the city's inhabitants for being stingy, or at least for being aware of the need, especially in times of need and lack, of being economic and pragmatic. This however also connects to the role of Gabrovo as the "capital of humour" not only of Bulgaria, but of the world..
Sacha Kagan gave some introduction to the ideas behind the summer school, personal, organisational as well as theoretical. Sacha will post a short version of this short introduction later today.
For the intros to the workshops by Laurent Malone, Insa Winkler, Barbara Founder, Carlos Jimenez, PK Radikha, Arka Mukhopadyah, Nadezhda Savova, David Haley, and Oleg Koefoed, follow the development in this site over the next days.