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Sketchbook: The ZAD


The ZAD of Notre-Dame-Des-Landes is an Intentional Protest community Situated in the west of France, near Nantes. The community is part of the ZAD eco protest movement. It is an autonomous community which was set up to protest and stop the construction of an airport, part of a project named ‘L’Grand Ouest’.

By taking an act to protect the land the protesters work towards building an autonomous settlement which is on the boarders of the surrounding society representing a life away from the capitalist system and culture. Farming and producing their own sustenance and generating a liberated environment for people to live. It has been quoted as grounds for experimentation of social ways of being and living together, with a wide and open group of people. Anyone who arrives to the community without claiming authority is accepted.

I spent one month in the community living through its motions and documenting scenes in drawing and painting. The ZAD holds a powerful sense of Liberty and responsibility for the life of the environment, each other and ones self. The situation is vibrant and entertaining full of spontaneous moments but also hard working and serious. It has been quoted a flagship for anarchist counter culture and has been referred to as a throwback to the Paris Commune.

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