Awra Amba

Awra Amba, Amhara, Ethiopia
1986 - Present

Awra Amba, Ethiopia was founded as an experimental utopian village by Zumra Nuru in 1972. The community, founded with the goal of being an independent, democratic, and egalitarian society is home to 500 people. Today, income of an Awra Amba resident is twice that of surrounding communities, the literacy rate is higher, and the mortality rate is lower.

Many of Awra Amba’s egalitarian and idealistic principles have contributed to its success. The community has no organized religion and doesn’t observe any sabbath, unlike the neighbouring Christian or Muslim villages. Critical of what the west would call “the second shift”, the unpaid domestic labor of women after a day of work, Awra Amba practices gender equality. Men cook injera, women farm, tapping into the potential of the whole community to produce and care for each other. After farm land was seized by the military regime, Awra Amba turned to light industry for its income. There is a weaving workshop that produces clothes for the community and for sale, as well as a flour mill.

Awra Amba is home to an elderly home that provides living quarters  and full time care, a library, and schools. The Awra Amba school meant children didn’t need to travel for schooling, they can continue their education while fulfilling obligations at home. Incentive and creative population dedicated to improving the lives of the community through hard work and invention, like an energy saving stove. (Hodgson)

Nam semper semper ex
In porttitor pellentesque sapien

Annie Schneider

Communes in the New World

The question of how to live together—of how best to live together—is the foundation of any society. The last few years have exposed the fault lines in our current system: climatic catastrophe, economic crisis, supply chain collapse, civil unrest, rampant inequality, and a global pandemic. We live in congested cities and in potentially dangerous proximity, yet remain isolated. In light of these mounting pressures, it’s time to revisit the fundamentals. How to Live Together offers alternative ways of being, thinking, dwelling, and living. It calls into question every basic assumption and prevailing social norm: belief, sex, the nuclear family, property ownership, our relationship to land, production, and consumption. It is both a critique and a roadmap.