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Transforming Festival Culture into a Global Village

By Jacob Devaney on Thursday July 30th, 2015

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Transforming Festival Culture

Have you ever left a weekend festival, or summer travel and dreaded going home to your usual routine? Those days are over!

Thanks to an emerging movement, we now have some incredible interactive tools to help us take the inspiration home with us and manifest it in our everyday lives. The innovative cross-platform project entitled Reinhabiting the Village, and the online eco-village and travel network, NuMundo are two amazing resources for transforming festival culture into something more grounded and sustainable. Broadening our horizons through travel, camping, and summer festivals always inspires new ways to consider living in the world, but there is something deeper about the nomadic, and festival lifestyle that is alluring. WOOFERS (Workers On Organic Farms) and festival goers may vary across regions but the shared dream of creating a better future, and profound sense of community in connection with the land are universal.

A village is a place we belong to. Whether urban or rural, it is the place we live, the land we share, it is the food we eat, it’s our watersheds, it is the ecosystem we are part of. A village is also the people we are connected to, it is our children and elders, our families, our friends, our neighbors; it is the “WE” who share a “common unity”, a community of individuals who create a collective culture. It is the system by which we exchange and steward our resources and agree upon value as a means to ensuring our mutual survival.
– Jamaica Stevens, Author of Reinhabiting the Village

A workshop at Lightning in a Bottle“A workshop at Lightning in a Bottle”

Lucidity Festival near Santa Barbara, California, Envision in Costa Rica, Arise in Colorado and many others across the globe have grown well beyond the traditional festival format. These gatherings include workshops, art installations, indigenous wisdom-keepers, activism, healing arts, yoga, and permaculture programs as well as music. These immersive environments are incubation labs for new models, places for learning as well as celebration. For example, Lightning in a Bottle hosted a global meditation with Unify honoring water this spring in California’s drought-stricken landscape (you can learn more and see pictures here).

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”
– John Lennon

NuMundo is an online network of ecovillages, or Impact Centers, working together to offer travel experiences. Impact Centers are land based projects that offer individual transformation, regenerative living education that strive to leave a positive local impact. An impact center could be an ecovillage, organic farm, yoga retreat center, or even a hostel, as long as they meet certain criteria. Putting inspiration into practice in your local community sometimes requires visiting other communities to see how they do it. NuMundo grew out of Projecto Nuevo Mundo that operated as a traveling caravan linking ‘transformational’ eco-festivals and Impact Centers in Central America. The participants would work with centers like an orphanage in Mexico, putting sustainability and alternative energy solutions into place, and then move on to the festivals to share their skills- and their experiences- in workshops. A perfect combination of travel adventure and social action! This has now morphed into an online platform where people can plan and learn about ‘transformational travel experiences.’ Check it out!

A yarn workshop with Projecto Nuevo Mundo at a local community in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala“A yarn workshop with Projecto Nuevo Mundo at a local community in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala”

Reinhabiting the Village, Co-Creating our Future is a book, a workbook, and an online platform that brings the wisdom, inspiration, and community vision of festival life back home while giving solid tools to make lasting change. It codifies a generations-old dream for a creative lifestyle nurtured on sustainability principles while delivering it in a contemporary media package that is rich with interactivity and open for collaboration. The project is produced by Keyframe Entertainment, lead authored by Jamaica Stevens and was backed by 414 individuals through a Kickstarter Campaign making it a community effort from top to bottom. There are short essays from visionaries from across generations interspersed with photographs and visionary art. It gave me real hope to see such a thought-provoking piece of independent media hit the market. This is a powerful toolkit that highlights the best solutionary approaches and ideas while making them accessible to the wider festival movement. I highly recommend it.

Wheel of Transformation

Now – if you choose – festivals are no longer about escaping reality, they can be about visioning a new reality and making friends, growing a network to manifest your highest potential. Young people are aware that old models have gotten us this far but will not carry us into the sustainable future that we all desire. We can spend our time fighting the old or building the new, evolution is a collaborative and participatory phenomena. I am excited to watch this culture evolve and eager to see more innovative media projects like Reinhabiting the Village and NuMundo emerge. We have the power, we have the tools, we have the inspiration AND the will. Let’s do this!

DIAGRAM COURTESY OF REINHABITING THE VILLAGE

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Jacob Devaney

Founder and director of Culture Collective, creative activist, musician, and producer.

 

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