Le Rocalet – Donkeyland, Rain, Rocks, River

Rocalet is a young community that has been started in August 2016. A group of people buyed an almost abanded trashed place, where the last years one messy old men had been living.

Now its a lively place with a garden area, a communal house, free running chickens, donkey land, a lot of space in the forest and music all around.
If u enter Rocalet after climbing up a beautiful valley, a small road is leading you through the forest along a swinging plattform where you can hear the lovely sound of a flute sometimes wispering from the tree, along tree crowded terasses where a “ecotopia”campside can grow, along an old stone house with no roof (jet), but some fresh nice wooden construction, along dunkyland where two dunkeys have their home and rebuilded shelterd stone houses, you pass a firespace and find yourself in the front of the communal house.

To set up the community in Rocalet people started to rebuild the “main”house first, which has now a communal kitchen with a fire space, a music room, a library and on the first floor space for people to sleep. Usually this space is used by the people spending rather a shorter period in Rocalet and help with creating and building the new community. The people which stay on a longer term are building their own space somewhere on the hill in the forest. And there is a lot of space and terasses to do so. Living outdoors in Summer is rather easy, dry and warm, but during winter most of the privat spaces are not isolated and it gets crowded and cosy in the communal area.

Just before Ecotopia Biketour arrived to Rocalet, people and friends of Rocalet organised an Anarchist Camp and as the A in the Circle (Anarchist symbol) is part of the entrance sign of RocAlet, you find a non-hirarchical, open space with a lot of music in the air.

Ecotopia was staying four days in Rocalet and helped a bit fixing the grey water system, rebuilding the roof and fixing bikes. Furthermore people seemed to be tired from cycling and enjoyed having some private time to go for a hike or just having a rest on the river, without doing anything apart from washing cloth, fixing stuff, reading books and gathering around campfire to sing and make music. During the second evening we joined a discussion about the term ACAB (“all cops are bastards”) and the legitimacy of violance in political actions. Another group discussed at the same time about cultural apropiation.

We learned about a caterpillar-plague that eats the hudreds-years-old bux-forest. The normally evergreen trees lost all their leaves. It is not very clear, if this forest will survive, some say it won’t, others say they will grow back in 4 or 5 years. They already grow tiny new leaves but apparently more wages of caterpillars will come…

We also used the time to focus on the VELO ANARCHADEMY, to share our skills with each other. One workshop was about “how to make a book” (book-binding) and an interactive workshop was held on Forum theatre, the theater of the oppressed. We used this tool to be more aware about opressive behaviour and how to deal with it. As we started a discussion about awareness and oppressive behaviour on our last wildcamping restday three days ago, we continued with this topic in Rocalet and dived in a deeper discussion about awareness. We found out, that we are actually experiencing persistent oppressive behaviour in our group and we talked a lot about how to deal with it and how we can make a person to leave our group as some people felt really uncomfortable while this person was around.

Another fact that probably kept us beeing rather chilled, was a lot of rain during the second, third and fourth day. We were drying us and things around the camp fire, gatherd together in the small room called library and occupied the communal kitchen.

Some people where joining back to the group after going back home for couple of weeks or joining a family gathering in the Caribean Sea. And sadly also a larger group of longterm ecotopians left after Rocalet (we miss you all!!!)

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