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Four, three, two, one -- Long live Olatukoop! Festival of the transformative economy in Donostia

  • The Transforming Social Economy Network, Olatukoop, is ten years old and on Saturday has held a party in San Sebastian among its members and participants. They have claimed (and demonstrated) that economy and cooperativism can be approached from a different perspective: from the people, to utopia, to citizenship in general, to celebrate it all.

20 May 2024 - 09:50
Last updated: 2024-05-22 10:49:09

The Olatukoop network had a round week on the occasion of its tenth anniversary. Ten years of life, adding a lot of projects, initiatives, cooperatives and friends to the transformative social economy movement, or “rhizomes”, assuming the metaphor of that peculiar root that gets tangled, penetrates and expands into the subsoil, silent but constantly.

On Tuesday, 14 May, the event was held in Katakrak in Pamplona, the same day that Olatukoop was founded. Among the dozens of people gathered were the details and objectives of the network, as well as a political reading of the current economic system. From the hand of Jenofa Berhokoirigoin you can read the chronicle of the event.

And the Saturday is the day to celebrate what has been done so far and everything that remains to be done from now on, maintaining the idea that “what is not celebrated does not exist”. To this end they have organised a comprehensive programme in Donostia, which has been extended to the night with music.

Relationship codes: play and laugh

In the morning, in the Plaza de la Trinidad, attendees were able to enjoy playful dynamics, both for adults and children, with fun games for everyone at the hand of Nerea Gartzia, Herribix. Leaving embarrassment, food confidence and empowerment, able to take strength and get to know each other outside the everyday landscape.

Ludic dynamics in the morning to awaken the bodies. Photo: Eneritz Arzallus / ARGIA
They have had the opportunity to relate in other contexts and codes. Photo: Eneritz Arzallus / ARGIA

“We’re used to relating to other codes, conspiring or planning… definitely at work, and it’s nice to use other codes, I think it’s worth celebrating,” said Mikel Olaiz of the TaPunto cooperative.

Olaize represents Olatukoop as a union between the people and the company: “We know how to make people, and on the contrary it seems that doing companies belongs to others. But at Olatukoop, we've learned that economics can be done differently by incorporating feminist and anti-racist approaches. And also to make people learn, polluting other emerging actors and projects.”

The morning games have served to awaken the bodies and free the smiles from the cavities, and for what we often forget is as basic as spending well and enjoying. Gartzia Council at the end: “Play more and laugh.”

"Together we have learned that the economy can be done differently by incorporating feminist and anti-racist approaches. And of learning, spreading to other emerging actors and projects"
Mikel Olaiz

Looking after the network and feeding the neighborhoods

“Lau, hiru, bi, bat… Gora Olatukoop!” extends across the Historical Quarter of San Sebastian and reaches the other end of Mount Urgull. And after the traditional poteo, food in the Arrano society of Ikatz Street, from the hand of friends of the community kitchen Basajaun.

Basajaun, through the cooperative Herrera Auzo|co and other agents, works the food sovereignty from neighborhood to neighborhood to free from the oppression imposed by the food industry and autonomously and community: “We try to use food from their time or buy from the suppliers of the neighborhoods in ecological conditions,” explains Unax Seges.

Food in the Arrano Society by the friends of the Basajaun concunitary kitchen. Photo: Olatukoop

Guests have been given the Olatukoop Transformative Economy brochure recently extracted from the oven and the Herri kooperatiba guide or brochure. Public cooperatives are instruments to promote socio-economy from the urban sphere and territorial transformation. The members of Aginaga, for example, have not missed the date of Saturday, they intend to create in Aginaga a shop that will be useful to the citizens on a daily basis and take steps in the field of independent telecommunications.

Ainara Mugeta, coordinator of Olatukoop, states that the network is currently in a “context of expansion”: “In Basque Country, the transformative social economy is expanding qualitatively and quantitatively in all territories. But our challenge now is to care for the network, to make available all the tools and knowledge we have,” he explains.

"In Basque Country, the transformative social economy is expanding across all territories. But our challenge now is to take care of the network, to make available all the tools and knowledge we
have" Ainara Mugeta

It's never too close to friends

In the afternoon he jumped to Plaza de Gipuzkoa. The rains have not gone down and nothing else has come to catch up and singing by Alderdi Eder behind the Goxo Txaranga in Pamplona; tourists have seen another way to enjoy the streets of San Sebastian.

Goxo Txaranga at Plaza de Gipuzkoa. Photo: Urko Apaolaza / ARGIA
Towards Easo Square, pasacalles. Photo: Urko Apaolaza / ARGIA

So they've come to Easo Square. The members of the cooperative Biba Ardoak received the members of the network with a surprise in the bookstore and meeting point Kaxilda, where they were able to taste the organic wines of Euskal Herria, such as those raised in the small winery Aristu de Lumbier. They have also announced a novelty: the canteen and restaurant of Kaxilda will henceforth be a new transforming space of San Sebastian with the help of this cooperative.

Reception of members of the cooperative Vinos Biba at the Kaxilda meeting. Photo: Olatukoop / Urko Apaolaza / ARGIA

Too has been a grape, an enological experience impregnated with melodies Bella Ciao. And the day ends up dancing, playing and laughing, because making the way to utopia with friends is good.

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