On Sunday 27th September, the first Gratiferia at L'Ermitage in the Notre-Dame de Versailles district took place. The event welcomed more than 150 people despite the rainy weather!
For the past few months, L'Ermitage, Fondacio's headquarters, has taken up the challenge to be even more ecologically and socially coherent following the Encyclical of Pope François (Laudato Si) and the International Congress of 2018. In order to meet its objectives, the Hermitage is embarking on a committed programme to raise awareness of environmental and social issues among as many citizens as possible. The Gratiferia on Sunday 27th September launches the dynamic.
A Gratiferia is a free festival. People bring and/or take objects throughout the duration of the event. The first deposits were made at 10am and it was quite impressive to see how quickly the tables that were empty at 10am filled up. Many more tables had to be added until 2pm, the end time for the deposits. At the same time, as soon as they were deposited, some objects, clothes, toys, found a new life with another owner. The turnover was rapid and people came to discover the event until 5pm. Thus, nearly 150 people deposited and/or left with various objects. A real success that will certainly be rescheduled during the year 2020-2021! The rest of the objects were distributed among various associations with which we have made contact.
A Gratiferia is above all a moment of sharing around the values of solidarity. There is no question of making money, just giving and/or taking, of spending a convivial and festive day. It's about proving 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 we set ourselves the goal of not buying anything new today? To boycott things wrapped in plastic? Limit the use of plastic toys, etc.? These are all questions that question our lifestyles.
I promise, this is only the beginning, other events are coming. The next one is on Wednesday 30 September with a screening of the documentary "In search of autonomy" by Demos Kratos. It will be followed by a discussion about the Hermitage school.