In 2012, GONDOLIN KLUB – the first SUP club in Europe – started GARBIBAI as the first world clean up river race in stand up paddle along the Urumea river in Donostia/San Sebastian (DSS), Basque Country.
Its name came from the fusion of three Basque words: “garbi” (clean), “ibai” (river), and “bai” (yes).
For that first edition, a nonsensical idea became a poster, and immediately after seeing the pictures of the objects collected in the race, antipodes café suggested to the organizer to make a twist in this unique sport initiative by including strategic stages of “SHOWING” and “REUSING” those objects. In addition, from that moment, all those collected objects should be called “treasures” and not “garbage,” and the project must include participative and accumulative communication.
The resulting diversion of the existent river included many subtle and notable situations, such as:
– an urban intervention using all collected treasures made in front of the City Hall right after each race (the last one was a 6 hours cat-walk)
– a workshop at an art space with a subsequent exhibition in a commerce information centre,
– a creative workshop for new ideas,
– a competition on how to stick their posters with a special “GARBIBAI tape” that also could be used to dance cheek to cheek during a celebration after the race,
– the creation of a mascot “kktua” for creative workshops addressed to kids…
and many –MANY– more details.
Thus, this project evolved day by day, edition by edition, in the inevitable progress of giving the best, until the river entered into a mouth, where its sweet waters encounter salty ones.
Core activities of GARBIBAI, since its first edition, took part in a massive festival called OLATU TALKA. Celebrating San Sebastian as the European Capital of Culture in 2016, the organization stopped developing GARBIBAI in this fantastic way.
This was one of the nicest projects we were involved in, with thousands of stories we accumulate in our hearts… and livers.