Life in the city can be isolating. Common spaces are no longer common: economic restructuring that began in the 1980s has converted much of what were once public gathering spaces into private areas geared more towards shopping than open interaction. This is part of a global trend of turning shared land, resources, and experiences into commodities, diminishing people’s sense that this world of ours is shared, not privately owned.
This project is about people who are experimenting with alternatives to the isolating individualism of modern cities. It is the result of months spent living at and interacting with four “intentional communities” in South Minneapolis. These communities consist of people who come together to live cooperatively with others who share their values in order to better uphold those values. They’re guided by the belief that the best way to create a better world is with and for others, so they sacrifice some autonomy to the collective process of remaking and reimagining their lives.
Like the communities themselves, this project was born out of an attempt to figure out how to live in a way that supports my values. I initially romanticized communal living, but soon came to learn that it can breed its own forms of isolation and individualism.