In mid July 2018 the sweet aftertaste of the GEN conference from Tallinn still lingered as I hitchhiked with my new friend Lars from a small bay at SE of Gotland towards Visby. I also carried in me an empty feeling due to everything that is implicit in most green movements. There are so many assumptions, and they are so difficult to change, no matter how “enlightened” we think we are. The roots of global change are cultural, not technological.
Two days of sailing helped me imagine what life used to be like 100 and more years ago. First of all: everything was slower. Today we might not agree, but I think 10-12 km/h is a decent speed; within two days we made it across the Baltic sea! And we could rest on the way as the wind did the work for us. Why are we compelled to go faster?
Our civilisation is so obsessed with speed and efficiency that it doesn’t allow us to sit back and rest. If you’re not productive, you should feel ashamed or guilty! I think you should be resting most of the time and getting active only when necessary.
Well-designed ship does most of the work for you. Maybe that’s also a sign of a well-designed society. The system should do most of the work and in the meantime, we should be able to rest and devote out time to creativity, art, beauty, joy.
Sweden: Everybody loves Russians!
Ecovillage with a view on an army base just across a busy road is a meeting of contrasts. That’s Suderbyn ecovillage.
Gotland island is an amazing eco-system, but it happens to lie in the middle of the Baltic sea, therefore it has extreme strategic importance.
NATO is compelled to expand military forces on the edge of its territories, particularly near Mother Russia. NATO base on Gotland has spread as far as the territory of Suderbyn ecovillage. Thus two radically contrasting dynamics are meeting like David and Goliath.
Suderbyninans are not giving in easily. They are resilient and innovative. I was impressed by pioneering spirit, eco-innovation and experimentation, charming community vibration and more. Their openness is such a contrast to radically closed military zone with high fences and scary signs.
On the very first evening, we went for a bicycle ride to the nearby cliffs to see the sunset. I found a cherry tree there, growing from the cliff itself, so I watched the sunset while eating cherries, tasting the beauty of nature.
The rest of my experience in Suderbyn had to do with feeling into the community, getting curious about all innovation and exchanging with people. I was impressed with biodigester and the greenhouse around it where food can be produced year around. Biodigester produces biogas that can be used for cooking and potentially for transporation. Beautiful gardens are cultivated with love. Strong activism reaches all the way up to the island’s politics and even broader. What impressed me the most was the loving community.
Since photos say more than words, here are some …
Latvia: Wrap it up with a party!
My final stop on my journey around the world was on a party. I was invited to give a workshop on Kometa festival near Riga. It was an entirely different world of partying all night with electro music, urban alternative art, youthful curiosity and rebellion, circus, surrealism …
My contribution was on genuine humanness – how to stand out as an individual around general uniformity and be confident, strong, unafraid of violence. I listened to a few other speeches on Kometa Academy about body expression, poetry, feeling safe while partying.
It struck me how threatened young women feel when dancing and how often they are approached indecently by men, influenced by various mind-altering substances.
I drove back to Slovenia by car with one of the organisers of the festival. 20 hours to travel almost 2000 km is a good deal, I think.
There are two more long drives ahead of me this year: to Belgium and to Poland. I love the fact that I’ll have great company on the road… 🙂