Jan-term Utopia 2011
Peace Issues course this year was "Utopian Experiments, Intentional Living Communities, and Countercultural Movements." We traveled all over the nation to study and dwell in intentional communities. The trip was full of adventure, learning, soul searching, and conscientious and compassionate community living.
Here is a PDF file to our ZINE (anarchist scrapbook...small scale publication) we compiled to showcase our journey. Check it out Here! For best view follow these instructions: View--> Page Layout--> Continuous Facing.
The Communities in order of visitation were: The Harmonists and Owenists at New Harmony in Southern Indiana, Shaker Villiage in Kentucky, Little Flower Catholic Worker Farm in Virginia, Twin Oaks in Virginia, Acorn in Virginia, Koinonia Farm in Georgia, Jubilee Partners in Georgia, and Idyll Dandy Acres (IDA) in Tennessee. We also took time to witness in D.C. at a "20 Years of War in Iraq" demonstration and teach in. While in Georgia we also visited the Habitat for Humanity headquarters in Americus, Georgia as well as met President Jimmy Carter during his Sunday School and morning worship at his home congregation: Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia.
New Harmony held two communities at its site in the mid 19th century. The first settlers were religious laborers that only stayed for three years. The second group of settlers formed an intellectual community that lasted even shorter.
Here's the Harmonists welcome center.
Shaker Village was another historic religious community. Also named, the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, the Shakers were ground in the principle of a dual nature of Diety, which resulted in gender equality. The Shakers also believed in pacifism, celibacy, simple living, and of course communalism. At the Pleasant Hill community, there were four separate buildings for four large family groups (30-90 persons each).
Little Flower Catholic Worker Farm was a group favorite. The farm runs by one family who focus on radical hospitality and also peace witnessing in Washington, D.C. In the summer, they are busy with their organic farm. We were all greatly inspired by the family at Little Flower. We served Little Flower by clearing their trail paths, organizing their farm and gardening equipment, chopping wood, cleaning, organizing, babysitting, and more.
We went to D.C. for a weekend. We marched at a "20 Years of War in Iraq" witness, as well as participate in the teach-in following the march. We spent the rest of our time sight-seeing in D.C.