Alternative Communities in Europe from the 1960′ until Today

Monday, 10 December 2018, 4:00pm - 5:30pm, IWM library

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In the 1960s-70s, many communes were created all over the world, including Europe. Young people grew disillusioned with the values of their parents, who often had to struggle with post-war trauma. Their children tried to create communities that would allow them to live together, be equal, and challenge traditional notions of nationality, nuclear family, and distribution of goods. They wanted to create a better world for the next generations. There were many small initiatives, but also some big communities: Christiania in Denmark, Friedrichshof in Austria, Osho Commune in India and Oregon, USA, that drew a lot of young Europeans. A lot of these communities failed, but some proved to be successful. In Europe at least three big communities are thriving since the 1960s – 70s until now, Tamera in Portugal, Findhorn in Scotland or Damanhur in Italy.
Why some failed and other survived? How do they function today? Do they have a future?
In all of these communities, many children were born and raised according to the ideals important to their parents. Very often they were raised by the community, which didn’t encourage nuclear family structure. Do they share values, that were important to their parents? What are their ideals, values, and attitudes towards family life?

Urszula Jabłońska is a freelance journalist and non-fiction writer at Gazeta Wyborcza. Currently she is a Milena Jesenská Visiting Fellow at the IWM.

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