Airwaves: Sólheimar Ecovillage

Airwaves: Sólheimar Ecovillage

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Airwaves is not just about the music, the people, and the parties. Wait, yeah it is, but it doesn’t have to be just about that. This year we will travel out to the Sólheimar Ecovillage to connect and learn more about the ecovillage and the work they do.

What is the Sólheimar Ecovillage?

As stated on their website, Solheimar is a world renowned sustainable community known for its artistic and ecological atmosphere where about 100 people live and work together. It was founded in 1930 by Sesselja Hreindís Sigmundsdóttir (1902-1974). It is a small village set out in the countryside, characterized by vegetation, open common spaces and buildings that nicely co-exist with the landscape. Solheimar is blessed with enough space for residential and common housing and there are ideal conditions for outdoor activities in the village, which play a big part in the residents’ health and well- being. The Solheimar community focuses on the growth and development of man and nature. The social emphasis is that different individuals are offered variable opportunities to work, live, and socialize.

As you would expect for an ecovillage, Sólheimar is a pioneer of practicing organic farming. In Sólheimar there is an organically certified greenhouse, forestry, arboretum, including geothermal energy and recycling.

Sólheimar taught me a new phrase and a new way of relating to it. The phrase; reverse integration. Sólheimar is home to a variety of people, many who have special needs. The heart of the Sólheimar ideology is to give all individuals a fair chance and to maximise their potential. By focusing on individuals’ possibility instead of their limitations, Sólheimar aims to create the space for each resident to take every opportunity that arises for each person to grow and develop. Versatility is the strength of Sólheimar so people with special needs that reside here will always be the centre of the community. This works through the idea of reverse integration: those without special needs adapt to the abilities of those who do thus they can work together to make their community one of an equal and sustainable one.

Here is a great documentary that highlights Sólheimar and reverse integration.

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About author

Jason Bayless

Jason Bayless is a life-long activist and is currently working at The Pachamama Alliance. When he is not working he spends, working with Center for Farmworker Families and spending his time recording shows, writing blogs, collecting 3D movies, and playing VR games.

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