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The Inner Artist

The few months that I spent at Earthdance went deep into me, emerging with parts of me that had somewhat been forgotten. I rediscovered my artistic self that loves to create performances,  paint visual pieces and reenact imaginary stories.  I rediscovered my inner child whom requires unconditional love, touch and affection. I rediscovered my authentic vulnerable self that has needs it wants to express through movement and words.

Earthdance is an artist-run workshop, residency, and retreat center located in the Berkshire hills of Western Massachusetts.  We provide a dynamic mix of dance, somatic, and interdisciplinary arts training, with a focus on sustainable living, social justice, and community.  Earthdance strengthens connections between people, communities, and the earth by creating a center for experiential learning, creative exchange, and Contact Improvisation.

Shape your school, shape your world

The Free School is the kind of place where you need to spend the time to get to know the students and teachers. The Free school is personal and you need to get personal with it to discover its full potential.

My afternoon visit at the Free School revealed some of the highlights of a free school. It began with a warm welcome from our personal tour guide, a 12 year old senior students, who showed us the in and the outs of the school. One of the central elements of the schools, she highlighted, was the council meetings. She explained that when large conflicts arise any one student can call all the school together to solve it. The most recent council meeting she explained dealt with the issue that people were not closing the outside door. She said that this was resolved by the students voting to turn off the heat and leaving the door open. Every room we went to during our tour felt alive. There was someone doing something in every room from the kitchen where they were making custard, to the classroom where students were quietly working on a project, to the music room where students were playing the piano, to the library where students were playing board games to the outdoor playground where students were playing an imaginary game. Our tour guide also explained that teachers post a schedual of optional classes from which the students can choose from.

The main message that this school revealed to me is that you as a students are autonomous and capable of problem solving. ”It is your life, your mind and your education!” Free to learn documentary. This is true for the students but it is also true for the teachers. Children get to see that teachers are people too with feelings and passions. The school is always changing depending on the interests of students, parents and teachers that are there at that time.

”Hippietecture”

Let’s move away from ”hippietecture”, architectural structures that are often stigmatized like earthships. Valhalla is trying to move away from this and work within our current system to make sustainability accessible and desirable to the common person. Like many other marginal populations these types of projects are often pointed at for all the wrong reasons without an understanding of the context. More than anything Valhalla is about creating a movement and way of life that makes sense at an individual level as well as an environmental level.

Welcome Home!

When the earth is ravaged and the animals are dying, a new tribe of people shall come unto the earth from many colors, classes, creeds, and who by their actions and deeds shall make the earth green again. They will be known as the warriors of the Rainbow — Old Native American Prophecy

A Home, Not a Capital Investment

My brief stay at Hameau 18 allowed me to understand this fantastic project only at the surface level. The Eco Hameau is home to a dozen individuals, couples and families and La Coopérative du Cap. They welcome visitors, have homes scatter across the land, gardens and a variety of enterprises including a theatre company and food production companies.

At the center of their belief is that land should not be a commodity. By using an usufruct contract, it permits its members the use and advantages of the fruits of the Coopérative du Cap’s land short of it’s destruction or waste.

It’s a project that has grown over the years and now has a well established structure that continues to improve itself.

 

Enfants libres, enfants allumés

Imagine…une jeune mère qui corde du bois sont bébé de 18 mois à sont dos, pendant que l’un des jeunes de 3 ans alimente le feux pour éloigner les mouches, le plus vieux de 13 ans prépare un repas pour 15 personnes et les autres enfants jouent dans les arbres. Avec une famille de 7 enfants l’énergie est toujours vibrante. C’est beau l’atmosphère qui règne à St-Louis, même si ce n’est pas toujours calme et que les défis sont gros.

Voici deux éléments qui m’ont particulièrement marqué:

La créativité des jeunes. Les 7 enfants font l’école à la maison. Cela veut dire qu’il passent quelques heures seulement assit à une table à faire des études. Le reste du temps c’est la vie et le jeu qui leur enseigne. Les qualités de chaque jeune sont mis en valeur. Les enfants cessait de me surprendre avec leur créativité et leur sagesse.

Équilibre entre action et politique. Il y a une belle dynamique entre la création d’un mode de vie autosuffisant et l’implication au niveau politique. Ils concrétisent des projets tel un jardin, l’élevage d’animaux et une vie en communauté, mais il se battent et sont impliqué dans les enjeux environnementaux.

J’ai pu toucher à plusieurs projets tel que le désherbages, la cultivation de légumes, le sablage et l’installation des fermes de toit et le jeu avec les enfants.

St-Louis, c’est remplis de projets du CESA, au Germoire à la coopéerative de travaille le Tré Carrée. Le village St-Louis à vécu bien des changement mes des gens comme Maude, Gaspar et la famille vient leur donner une nouvelle vie.

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