For the past decade or so, I have been living in and out of one of my favourite spots on Earth: The Freetown of Christiania. About a thousand people continue to live and love in this anarchist community squatting an 84 acre (0.34 square km) area in the heart of the Danish capital, Copenhagen.
41 years ago this former military barracks became occupied land in the name of peace, love and freedom. Over the years Christiania has become a self-governing, and quite well-organized, community based on consensus democracy.
It may sound like a neat and orderly place full of supra-conscious and well-meaning hippies, but in reality it is more like a boiling melting pot of random craziness and unpredictability. I have yet to find out what the place is really all about, and that is one of the reasons I love it so much. Another reason is that most of my friends are there – on and off as we migrate around the world.
Many a time I have left this magical phenomenon, wondering if my journey would ever land me in her emancipating embrace again. Every time I have found myself back in the amazing anarchy within the year. Somehow my fate is intertwined with this place…
On my most recent “last night” in Christiania, I had the honour and pleasure of being surrounded by the best of friends, sitting around a quiet fireplace in an untamed forest, right in the middle of bustling Copenhagen. It was a proper farewell session with speeches, songs, hugs and other declarations of love.
The next morning, as I walked out of the Freetown – paying attention to every bit of colourful chaos on the way – I knew I would be back. And when I touched my forehead to the arch over the corner-entrance, I felt it throughout my body too.
So long Christiania – You Have My Heart!