Self-directed by Collectif 7 à nous, Bâtiment 7 is a collective property, located in Pointe Saint-Charles in Montreal. It hosts several services, all adapted to the neighbourhood’s realities in an inclusive perspective, based on the sharing and pooling of resources. A hotspot for services, artistic, cultural, social and political activities, they now have a solidarity-based grocery store, brewery, foundry, woodworking shop, car and bike mechanic workshops, a space for local youth and a health center.
More developments are to come in order to offer workspaces and services to the local population while guaranteeing access to all, and a focus on marginalized and impoverished individuals. B7 aims at fostering a space for experimentation and learning to promote autonomy and interdependence. They do so under a horizontal democratic and inclusive management system and positions themselves as in solidarity and committed to other fights for social justice and collective reappropriation of neighbourhoods and cities.
How to wrap our heads around the fact that an initiative like Bâtiment 7, who explicitly position themselves with the “collective” and influenced by an anarchist philosophy, would seek support from private foundations? This research project seeks to shed light on the necessary conditions for this type of collaboration to be possible from a social, economic and political standpoint, as well as its challenges.