Monday 22 December 2008

An intentional community

Two glasses of their fine wine made me reckless and I can cowardly blame these for landing on my wrist in a hellishly reeking ditch, such as there are so many in my country... (It may have been the slippery grass, it had just started to rain).
Maybe it is my wrist which took a long time to heal - I still cannot bear my watch, which miraculously survived the mud and water - which prevented me from writing more about the intentional community of Longo mai - a community of communities nowadays. By putting on this posting I commit myself to doing it in the very near future.

Radical young starting a communal life in places abandoned by Empire - now that does sound familiar, does not it? They did it in 1973, in the longlasting post-1968 days. I read an interpretation of their name which according to some means "longlasting May" - but it actually is a Proven├žal wish meaning "May it last long". They managed to survive as a community, still radical, still doing agricultural work and participating in all kinds of actions "in the outside world": against persecution of immigrant workers, for organic farming - traditional farming, as a matter of fact, which Empire has made "an alternative lifestyle"- and much more.

Here is a report about them in English, more on them soon.

They did not have and still do not have connections to any religious denomination, but members of the community are studying French personalism at the moment, which is one of the driving ideas behind the Catholic Worker. Swiss philosopher Denis de Rougemont studied the movement and wrote sympathetically about them, which sparked their interest in his ideas.

Two Longo Mai-communities are included in this story about concrete utopias in Europe.