The Village as Model?

// Lecture + Film + Discussion + Food and Drink
Fri, 8 Sep 2023, 6 pm
Bauhaus Museum Dessau, Foyer

The fourth edition of the Friday Group focuses on rural spaces. Its central themes come together there: challenges and problems of today’s societies. But opportunities and innovative ways to address them are also revealed. On this evening, village structures will be discussed in terms of their potential for an economy based on ecology and solidarity. It will focus on a way of working that is supported by the community while at the same time supporting the community, one that benefits as many people as possible and treats available resources with great care.

The starting point is the Ökodorf Sieben Linden (Seven Lindens Ecovillage) in the Beetzendorf commune of the Altmark. This socio-ecological model settlement was founded in 1997. Around 150 people now live in the community. Ecology, social issues, culture, and the economy go hand in hand. This event traces an arc from recently founded communal settlements by way of traditional villages that have grown organically and cooperative, grass-roots structures to collective settlements with common property. A look at the origins of the kibbutzim of Palestine/Israel reveals how closely this movement was connected to the historical Bauhaus. Many of the architects had studied at the Bauhaus Dessau in the 1920s. Many of the social approaches of the modern era were almost ideally implemented in the process. Setting from there, the kibbutz model will be discussed against the backdrop of current social changes.

The Friday Group belongs to a tradition at the Bauhaus Dessau of actively engaging with social challenges and making a contribution.


Welcome and Moderation
Barbara Steiner, Director of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, + Heike Brückner, Research associate of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation

Keeping Added Value Local
// Intro
Michael Würfel, filmmaker and publisher, Ökodorf Sieben Linden (20 min.)

A sustainable lifestyle and a sustainable economy belong together. Michael Würfel presents the interweaving of diverse facets of an economy based on ecology and solidarity as practiced at the Ökodorf Sieben Linden. He lives in the community himself and has produced several films and books about it.

Future Places Network
// Impulse
Ina Fettig, Co-Chairwoman of the Netzwerk Zukunftsorte e.V. and manager of the Kaiserliche Postagentur (Imperial Postal Agency) future site (20 min.)

In January 2020 Netzwerk Zukunftsorte e.V., (Future Places Network) was founded to network and support creative people and to work together for an activating regional development and forward-looking approach to rural regions.

LandZukunft (RuralFuture)
// Lecture
Claudia Neu, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Department of Agricultural Economy and Rural Development, chair in the Sociology of Rural Spaces (30 min.)

The future of society is in the meantime being decided in and with the countryside. Rural spaces especially have become central themes and issues in today’s societies: demography and public services, climate crisis and energy production, agriculture and animal husbandry, food and lifestyle, migration and populism, social division and societal cohesion. What this LandZukunft (RuralFuture) could look like has already been renegotiated and tried out in many ways. What functions are to be assigned to the factors of culture and commitment?

Making Soup: What distinguishes a classical vegetable soup?
// Workshop
Christine Wenzel, agricultural engineer, organic gardener, frequent cooking class teacher

The village as a prototype of new forms of coexistence between romantic idealization and sense of community
// Discussion
Claudia Neu + Michael Würfel + Christine Wenzel, and Roland Budz, a social economist working on a dissertation on the subject of economic democracy who is active in the Economy for the Common Good movement (20 min.)

On current challenges and alternative paths to a future-ready regional development

Hazorea: A Kibbutz in Northern Israel
// Documentary film by Ulrike Pfaff, 2009 (excerpt) (20 min.)

The film describes the efforts around the kibbutz as a symbol for an ideal of society that is at risk of disappearing and challenged by a society oriented around achievement and profit.

Kibbutz and Bauhaus
Werner Möller, head of the collection of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation Collection (20 min.)

Food and Drink
Vegetable soup, juices from the Urbane Farm, and much more.