Our community projects
Qultura Core (the core of the Qultura community) develops different local community projects usually centred at the R.O.S.E Community Club Rooms in Ascalon Street, Nine Elms where we work in a symbiotic partnership with Wandsworth Council and the Savona Estate Residents Association, who together manage the community space. Our community projects are usually short term, spontaneous, cyclical and are developed as dream weaving activities and meetings.
One notable exception is the ROSE Community Library which was developed by Wandsworth Council at the R.O.S.E Community Club Rooms but which is maintained by Charmaine Bourton, a Qultura trustee who is a professional actress and retired librarian. The community library is simple in nature. It's several hundred books across different genres on shelves in the community space. There's no membership, library cards or fines. If you see a book you like and you want to read it, simply take it off the shelf and take it home. When you've finished with it bring it back.
However the following local community projects are being developed by Qultura Core for the Qultura community and the wider local community. These community projects are intended for people to participate in dream weaving activities and practice and are based on in person meetings and events at the R.O.S.E Community Club Rooms in Nine Elms.
The Human Library Project
The Human Library project is similar to the ROSE Community Library, but instead of borrowing a book, you 'borrow' another human being. However you can't take them home with you.
The Human Library project manifests as a Human Library event which is a meeting between those who are interested in participating. You attend a Human Library event to get to know one or two complete strangers. However unlike the similar human library events organized by Human Library dot org you're not given a list of labels. e.g. homeless, unemployed, addict, homosexual, transgender so as to overcome your prejudices and preconceived assumptions. Instead you're assigned another participant by name and for 30 to 45 minutes you have to get to know them as much as possible while giving them an opportunity to get to know you as much as possible.
This is not to say that you might be assigned someone who *might* have some characteristic which triggers one of your prejudices or phobias, because the first person you're assigned might actually be homeless, unemployed, an addict, and so on. But the emphasis and focus of our Human Library project is to meet and interact socially with people who are different from you, exchange stories and experiences, and somehow make some kind of connection to that other person despite the differences in your identities, perspectives and life experiences.
In other words this is a simple, straightforward dream weaving activity and a community building and development project. After getting to know the first person you're assigned to, you have the choice over whether to continue getting to know them or not, or you can move onto another participant at the meeting. At the end we all come together and sit round the table for a group discussion sharing what we've learned about each other. After the meeting you're welcome to continue interacting with participants via our Community Message Board online.
We're currently developing this project and plan to have one or two Human Library events at the R.O.S.E in the near future once we have enough interest and some community volunteers to help manage and run the project.
Qultura Connect is another developing Qultura community project being developed as a community networking project for job seekers, people trying to become self-employed, develop a creative interest or vocation, or someone with an idea for a local community or to set up a community support project. This is a project which is primarily about community volunteering and employability which isn't a course, does not involve any teaching or mandated activity and is primarily designed to mitigate the isolation, loneliness, and exclusion that many people experience when they're seeking work, trying to develop a new vocation, or seeking some form of meaningful occupation.
It's designed to be run as a community, something along the lines of an old Job Centre 'Job Club' and is intended for you to meet people, network, get to know new people, try out different things, discuss ideas, find ways to get around issues, problems and barriers to what you really want to do in life by coming together in community and figuring something out together with other people.
It's important to understand that you know things which most other people don't know. You know how to do things which most other people don't know how to do. You are surrounded by other people who know things you don't know, and who know how to do things you don't know how to do. The whole point of Qultura Connect is the empowerment of individual human experience and connecting to other people. But Qultura Connect is also about dream weaving activity and practice through community volunteering, which is arguably the simplest, most direct and most effective way of developing your conscious awareness and getting back your natural state of mindfulness.
There is a deeper more existential aspect to all this and that is to develop a smooth, harmonious 'flow of life'. In order to achieve this 'flow of life' you yourself have to become 'real', and becoming real means walking your walk, talking your talk and living your truth. Therefore this community project is very much to do with personal authenticity, integrity, and getting yourself into a lifestyle where you enjoy what you do, other people appreciate you for what you do, and figuring out what your real purpose or role is in life. This is not about getting the first job or making money, or trying to squeeze yourself into societal checkboxes, becoming a Good Model Citizen or striving for Widespread Social Respectability. It's about finding your unique pattern or rhythm in life.
Qultura Connect is based on our unique Universal Volunteering system and allows you to explore, experiment, learn and discover. Most people haven't had the opportunities in life to go through this process of individuation and this is fundamentally what Qultura Connect is all about. Qultura Connect works in partnership with Wandsworth Work Match and is supported by local Job Centres so any involvement in Qultura Connect counts as jobseeking activity (important if you are on Universal Credit).
Also in development is a Community Blog - which is connected to other stuff we do, dream weaving, the Human Library project, Qultura Connect, and community development. We offer free web publishing to community members and a platform where they can share their stories, experiences, ideas, creative output, community appeals, and so on. The design of the website allows for posts which are based on text, images and photos, audio recordings and video and given our access to digital technology in different forms and media you have a wide range of different ways in which you can express yourself.
One of the things you can do on the Community Message Board is to not only share your experiences and stories but also share your creative output in creative forms, get feedback from other community members, share images, audio clips, videos and nominate posts for publication on our website. Once your posts have been published on our website you will have links which you can share further on social media.