Every Friday, the folks at Sadhana Forest offer a free bus trip from Solar Kitchen to the Forest for a talk about the project, a tour of the community, a movie, and a free vegan dinner (It’s a vegan community). Sadhana is a reforestation project just south-west of Auroville proper, focused on water conservation, native vegetation, and sustainable living, all made possible by long term volunteers who reside in the community. There are common spaces, but everyone lives in huts. All resources are conserved and life is very different there. In the west we talk about sustainable living, but this is really cutting to the core of green-living. These folks live and work in and with the forest, and in doing so they’ve created a unique and worthwhile community, which feels positive and welcoming (as an onlooker at least).
Tonight before the movie, two Americans gave a short presentation on a very cool project, also with the focus of intentional community called Beehive Collective. It’s a group of volunteers out of a small town in Maine working on raising awareness of social issues through graphic illustrations. Their work is amazing to say the least.
They create allegorical illustrations using animals as the characters in the images. Each image is highly symbolic and based on a long and arduous process of on-the-ground research with the communities whose stories they’re trying to tell and collaborative decision making. In the bottom photo above, Tyler and Nikki, who are from the project, field a question about the image that I’ve shared here, and which they were passing around. This one is called “The True Cost of Coal”. The amount of detail and thought that has gone into such an image is staggering. I think it’s a great way to teach about big issues that affect our planet and our society.