Learning from SPARROWS

Social Permaculture As a Resource for Regenerative Open and Welcoming Societies was co-funded by the Erasmus+ program of the EU, the venue was Ecovillage Torri Superiore in Italy and it was attended by 27 youth workers from 11 countries supported by 5 professionals in the field of Social Permaculture including Massimo Candela, Marguerite Kahrl, Dražen Šimleša, Lucilla Borio, and Silvia Corna.

Permaculture is a design discipline aimed at achieving sustainable human settlements, a meta-discipline, which in addition to some original insights, uses and systematizes already existing disciplines, such as geography, biology, architecture, and agronomy, creating virtuous relationships between them.  The ultimate aim is to responsibly meet the material needs of a community or individual (such as land management, food production, housing, waste management, and creating economies), starting from the observation of natural processes, with a focus on the relationship between individuals, groups, peoples, nations.

The course focused on the concept of the margin: the membrane of the cell, the bank of a river, the boundary between city and country, between migrants and the local population, between disability and ‘normality’, or the border between states. It included a combination of lectures, workshops, and participatory work methods, and using permaculture knowledge, ethics, and the basics of design. Participants learned about their resilience, empowerment, position within the group, the relationships we nurture with other people, understanding and resolving conflicts, activism in the local community and on a global level, and acting in crisis situations.

The course was a transformative learning experience for many participants, that used participatory methods to explore the topics and observe their reflection on their groups.

One day was dedicated to sharing and raising awareness of migratory flows, which began with an action of cleaning a stretch of the Roia riverbed in Ventimiglia marked by the passage of migrants, followed by a meeting to reflect on how social structures and natural forces influence human behavior, and what changes can be made to achieve lasting change. During the course, two filmmakers recorded materials for a documentary film that will be presented in the spring.


#learningfromsparrows #permaculture #erasmusplus #climateaction #sustainablefuture #transformativechange @ecovillagedepourgues @youthid.tour @giovani_iddocca @ecoversities @hortafcul @szalmaepitok @zmag.recikliranoimanje @permakultura.si @labolina_rpg @sporosregeneration @zeleno_doba @marguerite_kahrl

Presentation of Tell_US catalog

Wednesday 2nd February, at 18:00, Circolo dei Lettori di #torino @circolettori.

Presentation of the Tell_US, catalog curated by @francesca__simondi with graphic project by Marilia Nogueira and edited by @boite_editions.

The rich documentation, including texts, images, and graphics, tells and gives new shape to the homonymous project, designed to promote sustainable tourism and enhance the culture of artistic ceramics and craftsmanship at Ecovillaggio Torri Superiore, an ancient medieval village in the Ligurian hinterland, a few kilometers from Ventimiglia.
The project is characterized by a transdisciplinary approach, thanks to craftsmanship, architecture, culture, contemporary art, and social dialogue, within a four-phase program.
The catalog is a synthesis of four distinct and complementary moments. The redevelopment and renovation of the ceramic workshop, the promotion of sustainable tourism including site-specific artworks, a rich PUBLIC PROGRAM curated by the artist @cosimo_veneziano, and a workshop focused on the practical return of what was learned.

@marguerite_kahrl and @marullo.emanuele were selected from the applicants who applied for the open call. In the spring of 2021, they worked directly on the Ligurian territory, vis-à-vis the local community. Curious to know them better?


Artist’s Residence | Sustainable Tourism | Enhancement of Artistic and Artisanal Ceramics

2021 Artist Residence, Torri Superiore

TELL_US is pleased to announce the names of the two artists selected by the jury for the residency at the Ecovillage Torri Superiore, in Liguria!


We would like to thank the 40 artists who participated in the first edition of the TELL_US call.


TELL_US  (in italiano RACCONTA_CI; TELLUS/TELLURIS dal latino TERRA) è tra i 37 progetti selezionati dalla Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo per il bando Luoghi della Cultura 2020.

Un’iniziativa inedita ideata e promossa dall’Associazione Culturale Messy Lab, Collettivo di Ceramica in collaborazione con l’Associazione Culturale Torri Superiore grazie al contributo della Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo, maggior sostenitore del progetto.

Il progetto è volto a valorizzare il patrimonio architettonico dell’Ecovillaggio Torri Superiore, antico borgo medievale dell’entroterra ligure situato a pochi chilometri da Ventimiglia, attraverso la riqualificazione del laboratorio di ceramica e la programmazione di residenze per artisti-ceramisti che durante la loro permanenza in ecovillaggio realizzeranno opere e installazioni permanenti, lavorando direttamente sul territorio con il fine di valorizzarne le risorse intrinseche ed instaurare un dialogo diretto tra la cultura della ceramica, la storia e gli elementi architettonici del borgo medievale.

Parte integrante del progetto è incentivare l’economia locale promuovendo un turismo culturale ed eco-sostenibile attraverso la programmazione di corsi intensivi di ceramica abbinati al soggiorno in ecovillaggio, progettati e tenuti dagli artisti ceramisti selezionati per la residenza.

TELL_US prevede anche la programmazione di un public program curato dall’artista Cosimo Veneziano: curatori, direttori di musei e docenti universitari indagheranno il sottile confine tra arte e artigianato a partire dalle riflessioni del sociologo Richard Sennett contenute nel suo saggio “L’uomo artigiano”. Le riflessioni raccolte durante il ciclo di conferenze verranno successivamente pubblicate in un catalog.


Care Beyond Crises

Shifting Degrees of Uncertainty

By Design or by Disaster Conference, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy.

17 – 19 December 2020 (7×7 format)

Marguerite Kahrl, Co-founder of Permaculture for Refugees

The conference Care Beyond Crisis addressed coping with crises through care. Care as a way of leading beyond crises by means of coping practices and a transformation approach.

Permaculture Design Course for Syrian Refugee women in Turkey, a project of P4R

Climate change, war, and natural disasters mean that people will be forced to flee from their homes and seek sanctuary more than ever. People, materials, and methods are required to convey the means to manage, scale-up applications, and learn to support vulnerable communities and those living in crowded environments. It is to be expected that Informal settlements will be on the rise.

As a group of experienced practitioners, the collective Permaculture for Refugees (P4R) is united in the belief that permaculture can address the systemic relationship between economic collapse, degraded habitats, loss of the relationship between people, and food security. We became convinced that training refugees in permaculture could offer a springboard to gain confidence and access other long-term social and economic integration opportunities.