This Sunday, September 27, the first Gratiferia took place at the Hermitage in the Notre-Dame district of Versailles. The event welcomed more than 150 people despite the rainy weather!
For the past few months, the Ermitage, Fondacio’s head office, has challenged itself to be even more ecologically and socially coherent following Pope Francis’ Encyclical (Laudato Si) and the 2018 International Congress. To meet its objectives, the Ermitage is embarking on a committed program aimed at raising awareness among the greatest number of citizens of environmental and social issues. The Gratiferia of this Sunday, September 27 launches the dynamic.
A Gratiferia is a free party. People bring and/or take items for the duration of the event. From 10am the first deposits were made and it was quite impressive to see how quickly the empty tables at 10am filled up. It was also necessary to add many tables until 2am, end time for deposits. At the same time, barely deposited, certain objects, clothes, toys, found a new life with another owner. The turn-over was fast and people came to discover the event until 5am. Thus, nearly 150 people left and/or left with various objects. A real success that will certainly be rescheduled during the year 2020-2021! The rest of the objects are distributed in various associative structures with which we have made contact.
A Gratiferia is above all a moment of sharing around the values of solidarity. It’s not about making money, just giving and/or taking, having a fun and festive day. It is to prove that a non-market world, or at least a less market world, is possible. The gratiferia also shows how much we have a surplus of things at home and leads to reflection: Do we really need this or that thing, are we really going to use it? What if, starting today, we set ourselves the objective of not buying anything new? To boycott things wrapped in plastic? To limit the use of plastic toys, etc. So many questions that question our lifestyles.
I promise, this is only the beginning, other events are coming. The next one is Wednesday, September 30 with a screening of the documentary “In Search of Autonomy” by Demos Kratos. It will be followed by a discussion around the Hermitage eco-place.