Этой осенью у нас появились первые опыты общения со сторонними, незнакомыми нам до этого, журналистами.
Одна из команд журналистов уже выслала ссылку на опубликованную статью.
Статья вышла только на английском языке в издании, ориентированном на иностранцев. Данное издание обрезает российскую действительность под интересный заказчику формат: Россия - это дико и страшно, по огромным просторам страны бродят потерянные в пучинах неустроенности и коррупции профессионалы, врачи и ученые, от полной безысходности кидающиеся строить утопии в лесах.
Так поселенцы «Благодатного» превратились в «беженцев» из города. А родовые поместья приобрели ярко выраженный привкус экологической коммуны. Из статьи мы узнали, что где-то в поселении есть залежи общего меда, тыквенных пирогов и козьего молока, а также где-то скрываются от остальных поселенцев служащие некой общественной пекарни. Ну, вы поняли :-)
В остальном статья была милостива к поселенцам «Земли Благодати» и, несмотря на некоторое негативное отношение к России, жизнь поселенцев описана в достаточно светлых тонах.
Russia's new homesteaders: from city life to wilderness utopia (audio slide show)
Thousands of Russian professionals have lost hope for a better life in cities. They have taken to the forests to create their own utopias independent of the state. The eco movement has increased several fold in recent years. Some have found harmony, others feel disillusioned.
Yevgenia Pystina is a medical doctor who was once a scientist at the Novosibirsk Medical Institute, the prestigious research facility in Siberia's largest city. Three years ago, her husband, a concert pianist, told her about some green movement activists living off the grid on communal land about 75 miles north of Novosibirsk, along the banks of the Ob River.
«I laughed at his fairytale but he said, 'let me take you there, so you see with your own eyes'» she recalled. «That is how we arrived here and stayed.»
Pystina, her husband, and her seven- and eight-year-old daughters now live among 51 other families in the Land of Plenty commune whose members range in age from one to 91.
New communities of homesteaders have sprung up across some of the most remote sections of Russia in the past decade, including Siberia, attracting thousands of Russians in search of a simple, self-sufficient and environmentally friendly lifestyle free from state control and big city corruption.
The number of «eco-communes,» as they are called in Russia, has grown dramatically in the last decade, and the movement back to the land is drawing professionals weary of the country's corruption, pollution and new consumerism.
A tall, slim woman, with a long dark braid, Pystina sings through her busy day, stacking cabbage heads on her veranda, pouring her honey in cans for the winter, and painting eggs with her daughters, Angelina and Polina.
«Since the day I moved to the Land of Plenty commune, my new interests in art, singing, science and agriculture wake me up every morning,» she said.
Not everyone is charmed by the romantic aspirations of these activists. The Russian Orthodox Church has criticized the communes as sects selling false Gods. And some suspicious local authorities in rural areas have challenged the attempts of various communes to establish ownership of the land they have homesteaded.
Environmentalists at the Land of Plenty commune said they are not a threat, and every house is open to guests who want to visit and sample the commune's honey, pumpkin pies, and goat milk. They also stress their differences with some of the religious communes that have also emerged in Russia at the same time.
Organic farming forms the basis of the vegetarian diet followed by the commune members. Families here also believe in home schooling their children with members with particular expertise teaching that subject area. Pystina, for instance, teaches chemistry.
Each household contributes something to the common good at Land of Plenty, members said. The family of Valery Popov, a former physicist, helps newcomers build their log cabins. The Nadezhdins, a family of dentists, serve as the commune's bakers. Klavdiya Ivanova, a former music teacher, is famous for her hand-made, traditional clothes.
Her husband, a former army officer, helps the commune recycle.
«All my life, I've been a part of the system: at school, as a university student, then as a faithful officer but the system fell apart before my eyes, destroyed by liars, by thieves, by outrageously corrupt managers,» said Dmitry Ivanov, offering a commonplace rationale for many people seeking a new life at the commune. «We are here to create a new social model free, professional and self-confident individuals. And it is focused on decreasing our negative impact on the environment.»
Established environmental groups such as Greenpeace Russia welcome the eoc-commune movement.
«We welcome all green movements as they reflect a natural desire people have to live in harmony with nature,» Vladimir Chuprov, head of the energy-saving department at Greenpeace Russia.
It is hard to get exact numbers of Russia who have moved into the wilderness. But clearly the numbers are growing. Dozens of ecological settlements have emerged in the last two years in the Altai Mountains, Karelia and on the Volga.
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