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Project 142

142logoSpent the last few  weeks before coming to SA living with my friends in the commune at 142 Lea Bridge road, Clapton, London – Project 142.  Man I miss those guys and the community, living there reminded me a lot of living in the big Osho commune at Rajneeshpuram Oregon. 

142 Lea Bridge road is an old Art Gallery There are about 20-30 people living  together…sharing the cooking, the cleaning, the childcare.  Having lots of people around to love and be loved by, to play games with, to talk to, to watch films with.  For something which came together almost by accident it was amazingly functional.  Sure there was some politics and drama but not a lot and all very managable.  There was no guru or religion to hold it together simply a group of people starting to flow as a tribe. There is  a lot of awareness and love there which is why it has worked for the past 2 years and is growing.

Basically the tribe at 142 had squatted a dilapidated building in Stoke Newington which was about to be destroyed.  The owner was amazed  at how they had cleaned and fixed the place up and offered them 142 Lea Bridge road as an alternative.  Most squatters are pretty selfish and simply try and hang on to a space for as long as possible while investing as little as possible  until moving on.  The positive energy put in by the Urban Nomad tribe (what they call themselves) paid off with a beautiful Space.

At 142 there is a regular Suinday evening event, Sundelic, of live music, DJs, an Art exhibition and Vegetarian food.  This event helps generate income to build the project, they have invested in a van and a sound system.  Because of the love and energy they put out they are also given many things by people who come into contact with the project. 

The income from the event and the fact that the space is free also means that those staying with the project does not have to pay for food or shelter – which in London is a huge blessing. Any income people earn outside they keep.  A few take advantage using the free acommodation and food to save money and getting more than they get back.  But its not a huge issue as over time it seems that those more interested in contributing have stayed while those acting more selfishly have moved on.  Somehow it works itself out without too much micro-management, rules, schedules or quotas.

I think that most of us are isolated and alienated living separately in family units.   Living communally is the way humans lived for hundreds of thousands of years, the family unit as the basic societal unit is a relatively recent phenomenon.  It is also so wasteful, everyone with their own  washing machines and TVs and fridges and stoves.  Living communaly means resources stretch much further and we all have more time. It is also jus som much more juicy than living alone or with your partner and kids.

This is the way I want to live. 

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