Fremeaux, Isa

Isa Fremeaux
13 August 2011Feature

Sadly our Utopian tour has ended. We’ve been back in London a few weeks and most of our friends have (quite expectedly) asked “So, how was it?”

We never thought that answering this simple question would be so difficult. And yet, how to relate, describe, depict an experience that has changed our lives? How to, without talking our interlocutors into boredom or sounding a little like one has been touched by some “revelation”, express the inspiration, the hope, the energy, the motivation…

13 August 2011Feature

There’s an icy February wind pushing us around what feels like a walled medieval city. Eventually we find a small arched opening in this strange city within a city; we step inside.

Suddenly we are in a town where looking at the stars is more important than having street lights, where cars are banned and there is no tarmac, where bicycles and pedestrian weave through the streets freely.

Seconds ago we were in the centre of a Copenhagen in a different universe; now we’re…

13 August 2011Feature

“If you went beyond this point they would have shot you” Barbara tells us as we walk past lampposts painted with military looking red and white stripes. “Down there you can see our love huts,” she gestures towards a row of small triangular wooden structures just big enough to hold a double bed, cosily set amongst the pine trees.

“Inside them , you're contained but also in nature - it's a beautiful place to make love” she says, a broad smile stretching across her serene round face.…

13 August 2011Feature

The rain freezes as it hits the windscreen, creating a 1970s dappled frosted glass effect not very useful when you're driving in ice rink conditions on thick snow. It's pitch dark and it would really help to see where we are going. The camper van is encased in a layer of ice that gets thicker with each lashing of freezing rain and added to that the heating doesn't work inside. Not a very Utopian setting. Welcome to Serbia.

We are on our way to the northern industrial town of…

13 August 2011Feature

“Of course another world is possible... As a matter of fact, thousands of people are experimenting with new ways of organising themselves for a more just, less destructive society: look at the Zapastistas in Mexico, the occupied factories in Argentina, the Landless peasants in Brazil”.

How many times have we heard or spoken these words? How many times have we felt the uplifting sensation of possibility given by these wonderfully inspirational examples of true democracy in action? But…

3 February 2008Comment

Most journeys require a return, unless they are fugues or escapes into exiles. We've been on the road for 130 days now, we've passed through eight utopian communities and although we still have another 3 months ahead of us, the thought of coming home is already making us feel quite ill. We thought we might feel homesick, but in fact we have caught another kind of bug, a wonderful infection that has made us lose our immunity to the impossible. We can't go back to our life as a working couple…

1 December 2007Feature

Merida is built on ruins. One of the Roman Empire's most important cities, it sits in the dry south-west edge of Spain. For 29 years this city has hosted what must be one of the world's longest running anarchist schools Paideia. If Utopias are places which challenge us to close the gap between what is done and the impossible, then our visit to Paideia certainly did this. This world turned upside down, a school without bells or grades, where the children are in charge and where the…