BardsBarter will be living for the entirety of November, in Bath, Somerset, without using money, as an example of freeconomic living to highlight our unnecessary cultural dependency on money. We will be using performance and entertainment to barter and trade for the essentials to survive, and forage and recycle when this isn’t possible.
The project ‘A Moneyless Month’ is inspired by ‘The Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living’ a book by Mark Boyle in which he lives for a year without using money, bartering and swapping, foraging and growing the necessities to survive as an example of ‘Freeconomic’ living. A major point of the book is Mark Boyle’ view that our modern society reliance on money for security rather than community, something that we as a company agree with.
We wanted to continue to explore and highlight this idea further, therefore we aim to become an example of how we don’t needing money to survive, through building connections and systems of bartering and swapping you can survive (our main tool to barter with being performance and entertainment). For our location we chose Bath, Somerset due to its vibrant street theatre and arts communities, its links to the freeconomic movement as well as its location for ease of travel.
The project aims to not only explores the economics of modern life but also how we view performance, entertainment and theatre. We wish to discover whether making someone laugh, think or cry is valued enough by the public of Bath to break from the normal barriers of payment and delve into alternative methods of bartering and swapping.
Main Aims and Objective
- To live comfortably without using any form of money for one month as an example of freeconomic living.
- To use our skills in theatre, performance and entertainment to trade, barter and busk as well as forage and find the necessities to survive.
- To investigate whether theatre and performance are regarded as valued skills in an economically challenging environment.
The project has four main parts.
- The first part is summer research and pre-preparation, which involves researching and writing/choosing our performances, establishing connections in Bath and establishing a place to stay.
- The second is rehearsal and preparation, starting the 1st of October until we leave for the moneyless month, in which we will rehearse and try out our performances as well as gather together the essential items we will need for the moneyless aspect of the project.
- The third section is the moneyless living part itself, taking place on the 1st of November to the 30thin Bath, in which we will implement our research by living freeconomicaly and by using our pre-rehearsed performances to swap and barter to live.
- The fourth and final part of the project will take place from the 1st of December until the 14th, and will involve reflecting on our project so far and creating an a portfolio of our experiences including our thoughts and tips on living moneyless, street theatre and theatre in today’s society.
What We Can Use
We will use what Mark Boyle refers to in his book as ‘the law of normality’. We can use anything we would have in our house and on our person on any normal day, be it food, tools etc, with the exception of things such as first aid kit and emergency telephone which is a necessity for the purpose of the course.
We will also give ourselves a very small budget to acquire things which we cant get from swapping, bartering and recycling in the small time we have to organize the project. This is because in no situation would anyone need to start completely from scratch, to take it to the extreme, we should be using what resources we have now to prepare for when we no longer have them, much as we should be using what crude oil we have now on sustainable projects so we are prepared for when it runs out. But in the best case scenario we can get everything we need through other means.