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Sadhana Forest Haiti : The “one day everything will be free” film project

photo of Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens
26th February 2013


By Joseph Redwood-Martinez:

(see also the video below! ; more info here)

“In the Fall of 2011, I was working in a curatorial capacity at a contemporary art institution in Istanbul, Turkey. Within the context of a long-term research and exhibition program I was developing at the time, I travelled to Auroville, India to write about Sadhana Forest India, a community living within a free economy and actively working on ecological restoration through water conservation and reforestation of the indigenous tropical dry evergreen forest. While this trip was initially intended to contribute only in a minor way to the overall project I was developing in Istanbul, what I encountered at Sadhana Forest India was far richer and more complex than I could have anticipated. Upon returning to Istanbul three months later, it became clear that there was still work to be done beyond synthesizing my research into the short text I had written on Sadhana Forest India. Drawing from the various lines of inquiry set up in the project I was involved with in Istanbul, I set out to visit Sadhana Forest again––but this time to their recently established sister project in Haiti, and this time with the intention to use the medium of documentary film as a vehicle for organizing and communicating my research.

From May to August of 2012, I lived and worked with the Sadhana Forest Haiti in Anse-a-Pitre, Haiti. Over the past several years, I’ve visited intentional communities and ecological restoration projects throughout the United States, New Zealand, France, Ecuador, India, Belgium, Turkey, Haiti, and Palestine. To date, Sadhana Forest Haiti remains the most significant, complex, and dynamic project I’ve encountered. Sadhana Forest not only makes a proposition for addressing environmental degradation and the inadequacies of foreign aid, it importantly offers very real working-example of a these propositions enacted from within a diverse and constantly evolving community. in this way, Sadhana actively challenges paradigms that exacerbate alienation, scarcity, and competition by catalyzing patterns that promote mutually beneficial relationships, environmental stewardship, and conscientious resource use.

Seeking to understand the significance of Sadhana’s presence, I approached creating this movie without a preconceived agenda, but with an unbiased curiosity. The intention to discover, instead of “document” Sadhana, led me to appreciate the comprehensive societal implications of Sadhana, a community that encourages its participants to realize abundance by provoking actions motivated by resilience and patience over instant gratification.

Yet still, Sadhana is not without its own complications. Throughout this process of living with the community as an engaged observer and participant conducting interviews over a period of several months, I was provoked to question and attempt understanding the symbolic nature of Sadhana in relation to the practical solutions it put forward for improving the environment and its stakeholders’ quality of life. As such, at the heart of One day, everything will be free is a perpetual questioning: Whose hope? Whose optimism? And whose practical solutions to whose problems?”

Watch the trailer here:

About the author:

Joseph Redwood-Martinez is an artist, writer, and filmmaker from the United States. One day, everything will be free is his first film. Promises of Urban Agriculture, his second feature-length documentary, forthcoming in 2014, looks critically at the implications of urban agriculture in various cities around the world. A book of recent essays, titled neo-provincialism, will be released in 2014.

Previously:

* http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/project-of-the-day-the-sadhana-forest-permaculture-community-in-auroville-and-haiti/2012/08/04

* http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/joseph-redwood-martinez-on-the-scarcity-of-simplicity/2012/05/30

Key topics: one day everything will be free, Joseph Redwood-Martinez, documentary, ecological restoration, climate change, sustainability, reforestation, free economy, alternative economies, international aid, community living, ecovillages, utopia, Haiti

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