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Nowtopian

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Great Night at Flexi (and beyond)

I had a fantastic night at Flexi Libreria last night. Somewhere between 50 and 80 people jammed in to the beautiful new space, which takes its name from the increasing precarity that its founders, all research and technical workers during their “day jobs,” face. Francesca, Andrea, and all the folks I met there were so hospitable and gave me an incredible welcome and a fantastic venue to present Nowtopia. It’s hard for me to judge, since I’m presenting, but as in Milan, it seemed to really resonate for the folks who came, and the discussion that followed went in interesting directions, about organization, subcultural exclusion, technology, human nature, work and ecology, a side moment on my ideological influences and the state of EarthFirst!, Peter Berg, and ecological politics in general in the U.S. It was the best night I’ve had on the tour yet. Special thanks to Rotafixa and Andrea for making this happen, and doing the simultaneous translation. Here are some photos of the place, the crowd before the Talk, and some shots during the Talk (I admit this is a bit of a scrapbook/journal for me at these moments, but hey, it is after all MY blog! Apologies if you’re only interested in deep thoughts, which only pop up here intermittently at best!).

Rotafixa introduces the evening:


Andrea translates:

The audience was split into two wings, one facing and one on the side:

After we ended around 10:30 or later, Rotafixa led a posse down the street to do some guerrilla gardening with plants he’d been collecting for a few days:

He’d made up some lovely little signs that say “Rebellious Flowers” and here you can see how it looked in the light of day today:

I also had a very encouraging meeting with another publisher today, DeriveApprodi, who said they’ll prepare a proposal that includes translating the entire book and a modest advance. Yay! And I love their list, and would be really glad to be on it. There are still some even larger publishers that friends are approaching, so I will come back to SF and see what develops and what works best.

After that great evening, Rotafixa took me again on a blistering trip in the lingering rain across Rome to a ciclofficina I visited last time I was in Rome, SNIA. I left my camera behind but hope to return and get some photos before I go. The place is more beautiful than ever, full of insane bicycle constructions (the Rube Goldberg-inspired bike-symbol-painting “vehicle” is a site to behold!) and fantastic people, including Giuso, who I was delighted to meet again, and Adam and Maryann from a DIY bikeshop in London’s projects. Tonight is Critical Mass, the local variety, and begins three days of mass bike riding…

In the afternoon yesterday the sun came out for a few hours and I took a walk, wandering around, and came upon some lovely sights–it’s impossible NOT to while in Rome if you’re willing to follow your nose… Here’s a hieroglyphic column topped by some kind of Catholic statuary, but quite a fascinating piece of media in its own right:

It’s in the plaza in front of a massive church, San Giovanni in Laterno, in which I took a couple of photos, one to capture its grandeur (it is very impressive) and one because I just didn’t realize that 20-foot marble saints might be depicted reading a book of all things!

I just liked this view because it captures the astonishingly common experience here of wandering around and crisscrossing ancient walls and structures that are still in common use.

OK, too many bicycling pictures will come in the next entries… you’ve been warned!

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5 Responses to “Great Night at Flexi (and beyond)”

  1. 1
    Deseo:

    Ah, nowtopians in Italy! Loved the rebellious flowers.

  2. 2
    Guillermo:

    Mr Carlsson, Ive been reading your book “Nowtopia” and also trying to keep up with your blog. I am barely in chapter 4, but so far you have already stung me with the virus of curiosity. Everytime I open your book, I feel like Montag from Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, when he started to understand and see the difference of people(regular people, meaning [status quo] people)and himself. I am also a great enthusiast of “DIY”, I have a small garden I also go around areas to find old bicycles(10 speed), which I have been converting into single speed bikes. I am also hoping to start a bicycle kitchen in Ruidoso, New Mexico, perhaps a critical mass too. Anyways Mr Carlsson, I want to than you for writing “Nowtopia”, especially in times like this; when everyone is to worry about oil prices, but as soon as a hummer passes by, they admire the design hoping they to could some day drive one.

    PS: before the semester was over in the community college I attend, I showed your book to my English 104 professor, she seemed intersted and actually suggested to me that when I am done reading “Nowtopia”, if there was a posibility she could borrow it.

    Keep up the good work, so far seems fantastic.

  3. 3
    Marina:

    I think deep thoughts are of the everyday. Especially in Italy!

  4. 4
    Dirty Tuba:

    wow, La Contessa on the screen!

  5. 5
    Ginetto:

    Hei… Chris… a great kiss from Matera

    I hope Monica (my ex) in the photo… gave you my bye to you… i decided for the first time to jump this Ciemmona 🙂

    kissess… I’m waiting you in Matera in the south

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