While doing some research on food societies within different cultures, I came across this very cool market in Turin, Italy. It’s a market where people barter their skills and services for other goods, such as food and other useful things.
Turinâ€™s No Money Marketplace
The Regali Senza Moneta (or Gifts Without Money) initiative, is a barter-based marketplace located in Turin, Italy. Participants can come together to exchange objects, services and knowledge. Money is banned from the market, which aims to affirm the value of exchange and create connections.
La Stampa reports:
Bargains without money
Luca Indemni â€“ Fabrizio Vespa
â€œLeave your wallet at homeâ€ â€“ that could be the slogan of the Gifts Without Money (â€œRegali Senza Monetaâ€) initiative organised by the ManaManaâ€™ association in collaboration with the local San Salvario development agency and about fifteen other local associations. It will all take place this Sunday from 10am to 6pm in Piazza Madama Cristina, Turin, Italy.
Even though there are now a huge number of ideas on how to best face the economic crisis, this initiative is of another level altogether, as the event goes beyond the narrow idea of barter and promotes the concept of a real exchange. Scheduled immediately after the Christmas holidays, the initiative provides people with an opportunity to free themselves of less wanted gifts, bringing them to the market and putting them back in circulation. â€œOur market is not a real market,â€ explains Filippo Dionisio, President of ManaManaâ€™ â€“ in the sense that money is banned. We want to go beyond the commercial concept of barter, which is often seen as a precursor to money, and to affirm instead the value of exchange, where such exchange can also be immaterial and cover connections and relationships between people.â€ Thatâ€™s why the â€œSenzaMonetaâ€ event should be seen first of all as a meeting between people, where goods, products and also knowledge can be exchanged without any money passing hands, thereby also limiting any possible waste.
How does it work â€“ Those wanting to particpate in the event have to bring something that can be exchanged, which can also include a skill or a knowledge service. Stalls are available and these can be booked by sending a mail to senzamoneta(at)manamana.it. â€œDuring recent SenzaMoneta events that we organised in the city,â€ continues Donisie, â€œwe have seen some really fun things: dinner invitations in exchange for objects, or a live one-hour long music performance in exchange for a one hour plumber intervention. The whole idea is to go beyond the idea of the financial value of things, but rather exchange them with whatever our free immagination can come up with.â€
Objects and services â€“ On the covered Madama Cristina market, you can also find a range of services, such as the Bicycle Office, where you can get small bike repairs done, an initiative devoted to the recycling and reuse of PCâ€™s, a special exchange zone for children, a Creative Commons based music exchange, as well as stalls with zero-kilometre food such as polenta and hot wine. â€œOur objective,â€ concludes the event organiser, â€œis to provide more space to peopleâ€™s time and to demonstrate that one can do many things without adhering to a logic of â€˜consumption at all costsâ€™ and without thinking about money.â€
The market will take place this Sunday from 10am to 6pm in Piazza Madama Cristina, Turin, Italy. For more information: www.manamana.it
A show room to recycle unwanted gifts
Exchange, barter and â€˜do-it-yourselfâ€™ make you save money, but not just that. â€œWhen you are in a situation where you canâ€™t use money,â€ explains Daniela Calisi of the ManaManaâ€™ association, â€œyou have to put yourself at stake, relate to the other and create a connection with him or her.â€ Therefore, the exchange is both an invitation to more enlightened consumption, but also a social opportunity to create connections with other city inhabitants. Thatâ€™s at least the idea behind the SenzaMoneta markets that ManaMana organises every 3-4 months in the city.
During the remainder of the year, the no-cost supporters can also find tools online for exchange and barter.
Interesting proposals and offers can be found on www.bakeca.it, in the section â€œvarie-regali-barattoâ€ (â€œvarious gifts and barterâ€), or one can become a member of the group Freecycle, a platform dedicated to all those who prefer to recycle an object, rather than throw it away. These sites cover everything, from a piano seat to an old door, as long as they are in good condition. Be aware though that all things on offer on the Freecycle site are available for free.
Other interesting solutions, mostly connected to clothing exchange, are the so-called â€œswapping partiesâ€, which are not just about meeting people and having fun, but also about exchanging and bartering clothes and accessories, events that often taken place when the seasons are about to change. So if you want to completely redo your wardrobe without spending money, the only thing you have to do is organise such a party, as Anna and Genny Colombotto Rosso have been doing for some time now in Turin. You can find valuable suggestions on the greenMe site under â€œconsumareâ€ and â€œriciclo e riusoâ€.
The swapping parties tend to be organised by and for women, without garments for men, even though these could provide some interesing gift ideas. Often the parties come with a small buffet that â€“ always in the same spirit â€“ are based on people bringing some food from their homes. What is crucial is that participants bring along some cleanly washed clothing in good condition. Also important is to have a space in the party home where the clothing can be shown, possibly organised by size, so that active participation is guaranteed. Finally, to create a smooth process, it is good to have some kind of rule on who can start. Once the garment has been fitted and chosen, it is removed from the â€œshow roomâ€. Whatever is not exchanged at the end of the party, is donated to a used clothing outlet or a non profit organisation, such as the San Vincenzo of Via Nizza, where they can make good use of such garments and assure their longer life.
[via Core 77]