Writing about Communal living
Diggers and Dreamers has been writing about communal living in its many guises for over 30 years now, but we weren’t the first, and we won’t be the last to be interested in the topic. At this online event we heard from writers who have looked at communal groups from the outside and those who have viewed them from the inside.
Andrew Rigby is Emeritus Professor of Peace Studies at Coventry University, UK. He spent most of his professional career teaching peace studies in different locations and institutions. It was his commitment to nonviolence as practice and principle that led to his research in the 1970s on alternative nonviolent lifestyles.
Helen Jarvis is a Professor in Social Geography Engagement at Newcastle University, UK. Current research connects social and environmental justice through grassroots civic empowerment; radical debate on real-life sustainable degrowth, and experiments in alternative ways of living, including collective co-production, mutual aid and cohousing. She has written extensively in English on the iconic Danish intentional community of Christiania, both in academic and popular, activist publications.
Chris Coates is part of the editorial collective of Diggers & Dreamers and author of two books on the history of communal living: Utopia Britannica and Communes Britannica. He has recently published A Life in Common, an account of the 20 years he spent at People In Common a small alternative living working co-operative in East Lancashire. He now lives at Forgebank Cohousing near Lancaster.