Tamera is one of the largest and oldest ecovillages in Europe. The original community members settled in the Black Forest in Germany, before settling in Zegg near Berlin. Far ahead of their times and traumatized by the Second World War, they had the vision of a peaceful alternative world, living in harmony with nature.
photo © Ludwig Schramm
Tamera was born in 1995 in Portugal, when a group from the Zegg community decided to create a new ecovillage. Today, it is a peace research center that attracts visitors from all over the world. What follows is a feedback on 10 days of immersion in the community, accompanied by a group of 40 people from 22 different nationalities.
Water, energy and food are available for all mankind free of charge, when we no longer follow the laws of capital instead of the logic of nature.
– Dieter Duhm, co-founder of Tamera in “A Manifesto for a New Generation on Planet Earth”
A real autonomous oasis created from an arid desert
When the Tamera community settled in the southern Alentejo region of Portugal, their land did not look at all like what it is today. The luxuriant greenery, different lakes and eco-constructions which decorate the 200-hectare space, have been created by the hand of man in only a dozen years, following the principles of permaculture.
Gigantic work has been done so the rainwater is better absorbed by the soil and does not get lost in the ocean which does not need it. This restores the natural cycle of water and only brings abundance in its path. The community has succeeded in solving one of Portugal’s major problems: forest fires due to the eucalyptus monoculture (originally from Australia), which burn very easily during the summer season because of increased temperatures and a too extensive consumption of groundwater. By intelligently combining plant species and creating areas of shade and freshness, Tamera now produces a multitude of vegetables and fresh fruits and is self-sufficient in water.
All year round, using both solar panels and the natural gas emitted by their compost, Tamera manages to become more and more self-sufficient in energy for its 200 residents, but also for the 300 to 400 visitors that they welcome during events. The community is now trying to replace the use of batteries to store their energy (as they are made from non-renewable fossil resources and are harmful to the environment) with something natural, but they have not yet developed this technology. Studies on energy are being conducted at the Solar Village. Watch the video below.
A university of love and peace
Tamera assumes that community life has always existed. It is only recently that man has been concerned with his situation as an individual, which little by little led to today’s individualism and solitude, nonexistent only a few centuries ago. According to them, our patriarchal and individualistic society leads to competition and the three main sources of conflict and obsessions of human beings are power, sex and money.
In order to live in harmony with the three traumas of human beings and free ourselves from them, we should first be aware of them and gradually transform these deeply rooted wounds. It is a long process and a path that can take a lifetime to go through. In order to work on this liberation, different schools are present in Tamera, like the Global Love School where loving without fear is taught.
Excerpts from a conversation with Phoebe, coordinator of the Global Love School in Tamera
Since our beginnings, we have noticed that love is one of the most frequently raised subjects in our community. This generated very positive energies, but also negative ones like jealousy. Some people say they are in love, when in fact they just need the person they think they are in love with.
“Love is pure; it is the connection between our being, other human and the outside world: nature, animals, etc. Love is taking the time to get to know each other. It is something we give and receive. It is a gift from the universe that must be preserved. In a world of love, there can be no war.
To be able to love, we must first know ourselves, open ourselves and get to know others. In today’s society, we do not learn how to love. We were born with pure hearts full of love which we offer to our parents, but then our hearts close because we do not know how to love several people freely. It is a subject that becomes taboo. We only let ourselves get carried away once and for the entire life. Because of tradition, love leads to a marriage that must be monogamous.
There are a lot of gender stereotypes when speaking about love. Women who claim to have sexual desire are considered as sluts who cannot be trusted, while for men this is all normal. They use women as sexual objects. Women must then express their sexuality in secret, otherwise men find them impure.
It is society that teaches us what we should be and how. We need to get out of these rules which come from society and prevent us from being what we are. We need to stop lying and hide our feelings. If one’s partner has a crush for someone else, which is natural, there is no point in hiding or denying it, it only increases frustration and fear.”
An example of life for all mankind respecting biodiversity
Tamera aspires to be the prototype of an alternative and holistic society, which deals with subjects in their entirety. When visiting the place for the first time, there is a week of introduction. The objective is to discover new aspects of this society every day, with topics such as: internal and external politics (through activism), local and gift economy, connections with the invisible world, nature and animals (through their shelter for dogs, cats and horses), water and energy management, food (through the numerous gardens and cooking groups), love and sexuality, education for the young and the not so young- as education is a life-long process at Tamera.
During this week, visitors also learn to live in community. This is essential to better understand the life of the Tamerians and go deeper into many subjects of study, which can be discovered by following numerous programs in constant evolution. To discover and experience Tamera, click here.
Discover Tamera in pictures