Sister Teresa, Ora et Labora

The phrase Ora et Labora, “pray and work” refers to the monastic practice of working and praying, its use in the Rule of St. Benedict. Benedict viewed prayer and work as partners, and believed in combining contemplation with action. So, Sister Teresa Forcades, a Spanish medical doctor and a Benedictine nun, sees her mission.

In 2013, she coauthored “Manifesto for the convening of a constituent process in Catalonia”, with economist Arcadi Oliveres. In it they propose achieving independence for Catalonia through new political and social model based on self-organization and social mobilization.

Teresa has emerged as one of the most outspoken – and atypical – leaders in Europe also giving her help in the campaign against the  H1N1 vaccine.

Land and Freedom

Javier Ballestreros working at at the occupied Somonte farm in Palma del Rio, Spain

‘Somonte Resiste’ is written with rocks in enormous letters at the main entrance, readable from the air. And I’m pretty sure that Somonte will keep resisting… Spanish Revolution. The Somonte farm has been occupied by members of the Syndicato Andalucia Trabajadores (SAT) since March 4th 2012. These actions represent a platform for the struggle against the commodification and privatization of natural resources: the land belongs to those who cultivate it.

The photographs has been published on Helsinki Sanomat to illustrate a story by Johanna Kippo.

A 100% electric van

On 23/05/2012, workers of Nissan in Barcelona attend the presentation of new electric van e-NV200.

Nissan will build its new van model at its Barcelona plant, located in the Zona Franca district, next to the city’s port and airport. The new ‘e-NV200’ will be a totally electric vehicle, an evolution of the ‘NV200’, which is already built in the Catalan capital. The new model will bring an investment of €100 million and is expected to create 700 direct and indirect jobs. The ‘e-NV200’ will start to be assembled in 2013, and will be sold worldwide. In the first year, Nissan expects to build 20,000 units from Barcelona.

A frame house made to live in

Quico Ortega’s home appears to float above the mountain of Montserrat, in Catalonia, north Spain. The house is winner of the Sustainable Architecture Award 5Bav’ 2009. Please, have a look at the slide show on The New York Times.

In Ibiza, a House on Stilts

Enrique Polanco’s second home in Ibiza. The design was created by Andrés Jacque to have as minimal an impact as possible on the surrounding landscape.

Here there is the slideshow to see on The New York Times. Thanks Enrique for your hospitality and kindness on the insel.