A simple attic in Bucharest is the place where any of you can become a master with his or her own apprentices.
A simple attic in Bucharest is the place where any of you can become a master with his or her own apprentices. All you have to do is convince those who like to attend classes and workshops, during an evening meeting, that the things you do are valuable and important. The attic is called Incubator 107 and last month for instance, all those who wanted to do something for their mind and soul, came here to choose from among several types of workshops.
On Mondays, they could learn coffee cup reading, on Tuesdays they got to know more about Buddhist meditation, on Wednesdays they recreated ideas, on Thursdays they could better understand love theory, on Fridays they learned more about how to present themselves in the online environment and take care of their image. Saturdays were all about consumerism and the new abundance, namely, how the limitation of resources impacts us given that the number of people is on the increase. There were also workshops on homemade cosmetics, party entrees and sign language. Lavinia Carcu organizes the Incubator and decides who are the ‘masters’ to hold the workshops:
“The Incubator was opened in April 2011 in the attic of a house in Bucharest. We were a group of friends, about six people initially. We were looking for people passionate about something, to come and hold workshops here. It has been almost two years since we’ve opened and we have a new set of workshops every month. Anyone who is passionate about something can come here and share his or her passion with the others. ‘The place where anyone can teach anyone anything’ – this could be a definition of our Incubator.”
Inclubator 107, located at no.107 on Calarasilor Boulevard has managed to bring together a community of enthusiasts. Its organizers have looked for and have found teams willing to develop the idea in other cities, so incubators already exist in Iasi, Cluj, Timisoara and Brasov. The incubator has grown organically. We have asked Lavinia Carcu to tell us more about how she selects the masters who hold the workshops:
“There are people who come to us and tell us they would like to have an incubator in other cities, and we encourage all those who have the energy and enthusiasm to do it. We also want to find people from abroad, willing to develop this idea in their own countries. We hold many workshops in many fields. There are six creative fellowships: the Movers, who deal with dancing and other sports, the Makers, who create handmade accessories and teach us how to refurbish a space, the Hedonists who give massage and cooking lessons and many other types of workshops, from the technical field to personal development and improvisation. It’s people who contact us by e-mail, telling us they want to give a course in love theory, for instance. They contact us and all we have to do is set the dates. There is a new set of workshops every month. We open the month with a night workshop.”
Alina Ciotarnel is one of those who wanted to learn in the incubator. After participating in several workshops, she joined the team and is now a ‘Carrier’, meaning that she introduces the incubator to festivals, fairs and other big events, including corporate. She told us what the night workshops are.
“The night workshops are alternative cultural events. Usually there are some 200 guests, and they last 10-13 hours, a whole night in fact. It’s actually a marathon of workshops. We present what’s going to happen the next month and all masters and apprentices are there to present their workshops. There are also two concerts per evening and other community events. One morning we released homing pigeons, we made huge soap bubbles, we had breakfast together in the incubator’s yard. It’s the kind of event where the community behind the project is most visible. Even if you are a new comer it’s impossible not to feel welcome and not to want to come back.”
We asked Lavinia Carcu about the goal of this Incubator where anybody can teach anybody.
“We want people to experiment, to discover themselves, to be generous. The project is funded through donations, and we want to encourage people to add their own value to what they receive in workshops.”
Alina Ciotarnel says that, although it sounds like a utopia, those who meet at these workshops, be they masters, apprentices or donors, want a better and more peaceful world:
“We want both children and parents, teenagers, actually everybody to find their passion and a way of living. Even if they’ve come to ten workshops and have not found their passion, but they’ve had a great time, it’s more than we dreamed of. If somebody has wanted for a long time to take dance lessons but has not done it and after one of our workshops they decide they will dance, then again it’s a huge step forward. We want to see people relax, especially those who are usually tense and loaded with problems, who work for big companies and seem to have forgotten about themselves.”
In a short while, the Incubator may have branches in other European capitals. You yourself could take this initiative and set up such an interactive space. If you want to know how, go to www.incubator107.ro.