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Starting ZEGG Communities in U.S.: Center for Experimental Cultural Design

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Posted by CCafeFWD: art b Rosenblum on July 29, 19100 at 11:20:10:

Creativity Cafe visited ZEGG in our travels in 1997 during the digital storytelling tour.

>>>= CC-->

From: art b Rosenblum
Subject: New Listserv for to Start ZEGG Communities in U.S.

Dear Friends,

The listserv I am about to describe is not for everyone, not even for
all of you, so if you are not specially interested in this subject, I
suggest you ignore this post for now.

ZEGG (in German) stands for Center for Experimental Cultural Design and
is the name of a community of 75 people in Germany with about 25 more in
a sister community in Portugal. Jon Poling (Near Portland, OR) tells me
he has just obtained a large property that might be right for starting a
ZEGG type community in that area. ZEGG seeks to create a new culture that
will work with our planet instead of against it. They seek to end
violence, fear and sexual repression. ZEGG is known in Germany as a
"responsible free love community".

Joel and I have just created a new listserv which will allow anyone who
is interested in this topic to share their thoughts and feelings with
others anywhere by simply sending an e-mail to:
zegg-subscribe@egroups.com and of course you can unsubscribe anytime by
changing subscribe to "unsubscribe". Subject headings and text are not

This new listserv is presently unmoderated. That means when you hit
reply to any post the message you send will go to all those who have
subscribed. I'm asking that personal replies to the writer of any message
not be sent that way but be sent only to the writer by replacing the "to"
entry with that writers e-mail address.

I'm also asking that folks refrain from any personal attacks and that
you keep your posts to the group short and limited to no more than one or
two per day. If we overload peoples inboxes they will surely quit this

To start with I'll forward here a pamphlet about ZEGG written by the
German community that came with the video of which we have some copies we
can send out for a deposit or donation. Here it is:

ZEGG PAMPHLET (Written in Germany. Some errors of English grammar may

ZEGG is the German abbreviation for "The Center for Experimental Cultural

ZEGG is an experimental space for the creation of a new cultural model.
Our goal is to explore and pass on the spiritual and practical knowledge
for the building of a vivid, humane and nonviolent culture. ZEGG is an
international meeting point and networking hub for committed individuals,
community projects, researchers and peaceworkers. ZEGG is a study center
for new solutions in the area of social structures, of love, of
child-rearing, for research in ecology, and of autonomy and survival
skills. ZEGG was started in 1991 at a 45 acre site in Belzig, 80 km
southwest of Berlin.

What are the goals of ZEGG?

The friends and residents of ZEGG have one major cultural idea in common:
Friendship between man and woman and concern for all life on earth. In
pursuing this goal the community focuses its research on key questions
such as:

o What are solutions for the inner and outer crisis of the human being?

o Is there a way to live together, which is not based on competition
and fear, but on curiosity, contact, knowledge and love? Living together
includes all relationships, those between human beings as well as
relationships with animals, with nature and with the spiritual world.

o Is there a way of living together where the loving attention of one
person to another no longer causes so much jealousy and fear of
abandonment in a third person?

o What does the human being need in terms of practical knowledge, and
just as important, what inner qualities are needed to be able to live an
ecologically sane and nonviolent life?

o How could such cultural catalysts have an effect in the world?

ZEGG is a Community Project

ZEGG is a community of 75 adults and children. Community is a form of
living that embraces the human being in its totality, in its longing for
meaning, for stability in love, for a fulfilling sex life, for solidarity
and friendship, for a satisfying profession and for spiritual
connectedness. The members of the community compliment and support each
other. Personal growth means development of individual freedom and self-
responsibility as well as the empowerment of the ability to love and
compassion for all of life. ZEGG is a place where tools of community
building are explored and passed on.

ZEGG is a Place for Love

To free sensual, spiritual and sexual love from fear of abandonment,
jealousy and competition, relationships need integration into the bigger
social system of a community, in which truthful communication is a common
goal. ZEGG offers the possibility to study love, and what it needs to
stay alive. We give this issue the necessary spiritual, political and
historical context, which is, besides the individual aspect, essential
for the developing of a new vision for love.

ZEGG Is a Training Center

Solutions for aspects of today's global and human crisis are suggested
from ecological research, from ancient knowledge of indigenous peoples,
from the work of many individual scientists, artists, alternative
projects and from research laboratories around the world. ZEGG invites
speakers from these many areas and brings their proposals into practice.
In ZEGG, researchers have the opportunity to publicize their findings.
They meet a community that works with their concepts, connects them up
with others, and tests their ideas. To get an impression of what ZEGG is
like, we recommend the annual Summer Camp.

The Child and Youth Projects

The development of our children is in the center of our interest. Sixteen
children in the age of 1-16 live at ZEGG at the moment. They live with
their parents and use the children's house as their daily meeting point.
Having their own little community gives them an easy atmosphere for
social learning. The teenagers are in the preparation phase of their
youth project. They are planning their own camps and travel tours. For
more information contact the children's house: Klaus Wuttig and Iris
Lindstedt (Phone +49-(0)33841-59571)

There are special programs for guest children during our main conferences
and events. When visiting ZEGG for the first time outside of these main
events, it is best to come without children so that you will find enough
time to get acquainted with the basic premises of this project and with
the work of the children's house.

ZEQQ is a Political Project

We see our community experiment as a contribution to a general cultural
alternative. With the "network for a future worth living" we work towards
cooperation with all people who are dedicated to the creation of a
concrete vision for inner and outer peace.

The Political Salon

The political salon is the networking hub at ZEGG. It intends to be a
bridge between the progressive forces inside of society and those
,outside", realizing concrete projects. People and projects that
especially interest us for networking, are:

o Projects in the community movement that work on solutions for a future

o Journalists who are aware that these topics need publicity

o Meeting points and congresses that develop consequences for a peace

o A women's movement which is working on a cooperative relationship with

o Spiritual movements that remind humans to take on their responsibility
for the earth.

Contact and media information:

Ina Meyer-Stoll (Phone -59530) Email: zeggpol@zegg.dinoco.de


Art at ZEGG

Art is an important aspect of a creative life, for the opening into the
unknown. The artist group offers open workshops were guests are welcome.
For ideas on exhibitions and the selling of paintings contact:

Rotraud Rospert (Phone -59550)


Music and its healing power plays a key role in the community building
process at ZEGG. The ZEGG choir presents pieces of Mikis Theodorakis'
Canto General. Whether it is Rock'n Roll, experimental or ethnic music,
it has its place in our meetings and daily life. There is a recording
studio which is available for use by bands and musicians. The songs we
love are available as a songbook. Contact:

Hagara Feinbier (Phone -59550)

ZEGG is an Ecological Project

"To respect life means to listen to the thinking of nature." Our
ecological goal is to turn the relatively poor piece of land which we
have, into a fertile biotope with flowers and
vegetables, with fruit trees, ponds and forest areas. We integrate
principles of permaculture, biological gardening and the experiences of

Gardening connects us with the rhythms of nature. The healing work we do
in nature, we do for ourselves as everything is interconnected. Up to now
we have realized several ecological projects: a wider variety of trees
have been added to our formerly monocultural forest; our sewage is
processed by a purification system using marsh vegetation; water is
heated by a solar collector, the first compost toilet is built. The
vegetable garden is increasing from year to year and provides us with
organic fruits and vegetables from the early summer until fall.

In addition, ZEGG is the host of ACHILLEA, a nature and survival school
for children and adults. Contact: (Phone -34573)

The ZEGG Property

The ZEGG property was bought in 1991. The purchase, build-up and keeping
of the grounds were financed privately by residents and friends. ZEGG is
not sponsored by state or public agencies.

The campus is the center of summer life. Here is the big gathering tent,
a transparent inflatable building used as an art gallery and book shop,
an open air projection screen and a bill board with the Jwelve Thesis for
a Non-violent Culture". All around are tent villages, a pool, a
volleyball court, the Place of Silence and the Village Square. In the
various buildings are the San Diego Cafe and the pub, a big assembly
hall, seminar rooms, dormitories, single and double hotel rooms, as well
as places for work and the housing of ZEGG residents. The heating and
hot water supply are run by an environmentally friendly wood chip
heating system which has been planned and installed by a company within

Daily Life

The residents of ZEGG live together in households of different sizes. The
community meets twice a week for an information plenary, at least once a
week for a forum and on Sundays for a Matinee. Further meetings take
place in the living and working places according to personal initiative.

During the year internal retreats, bringing together the core of the
community for one or more weeks, happen on a regular basis.

The forum, a ZEGG invention, is a ritual form of communication within a
community where everybody can say, ask or illustrate whatever moves him
or her. During a forum one may use art, theatre or music to express ones
own thoughts and emotions and share them with others as authentically as
possible. This creates the necessary transparency and thus creates
trust. During the past years the forum was an essential practice which
effectively guaranteed that the initial project from which ZEGG grew out
of, could sail unharmed through every internal crisis since 1978. Besides
the forum and the plenary, the ZEGG community has various other forms and
rituals where we meet: music, choir, festivities, meditation, art
actions, and philosophical discussions.

Decisions are made in a grassroots way by those who wish to take
responsibility. There are committees for events, courses and seminars,
for managing the property, for finances, for media work, for children,
for social questions, etc.

Bigger issues are prepared in committees and then decisions made during a
plenary. Each person is responsible for their financial situation. There
are some companies located on the community property. Some of the ZEGG
staff and residents are employed in these companies or at ZEGG Ltd.
Others do free-lance work.

How to get in contact

ZEGG is open for all who are interested. Get-to-know weekends offer an
opportunity to have deeper insight into the ideas and get to know the
place and its vision better.

The annual Summer Camp can give you the best overview and a chance to
experience a model for a new culture. It is a meeting point for new
visitors and old friends.

The guesthouse team invites you to visit us at any time, to use the place
and its many possibilities, to spend a weekend with friends, to do your
personal retreat, or to enjoy a "Weekend for Two" with special

Sunday afternoon from 3pm to 6pm visitors are free to drop in. They can
meet at the pub where there will be guided tours around the facilities
at 3pm.

Youth and younger people are very welcome to camps. They can organize
their meetings themselves to be able to find their own approach to the
issues of a nonviolent culture. If there are questions or support needed
ZEGG residents are always ready to jump in. There are good reductions for
the fees for youth and students. Please call at the reception: (Phone

As a "working guest" there is the possibility to live and work with us by
taking part in the workcamps mentioned in the program. There is a
permanent guest group for those who already know ZEGG well and want to
live and work with us for a longer period of time. People who want to get
involved deeper can become part of a ZEGG Year Group (five weekends per
year), or participate in the two month community training course. ZEGG is
open for newcomers, and we are especially open to those with their own
business. A community course is required for all who want to join the
community and move in. There is an annual program that will inform you
about all the seminars, workshops and conventions. Contact: ZEGG
reception (Phone -59510) Office hours Mon-Fri 10- 1 2am + 3-5pm

Rental of Seminar Space

ZEGG facilities can be rented for seminars, conferences and meetings in
various sizes. Maximum capacity during summer is 500 guests (partially in
tents), during winter it is 150 guests. Contact: Karsten Guschke (Phone

Network MEIGA (model of an international nonviolent alternative)

In its function as networking hub and committed seminar center ZEGG
supports various other independent projects in close cooperation:

La Massilla, meeting point for Eros and Culture, situated on Lanzarote
is an extraordinary holiday place and meeting point. Here strategies and
new aims in life compatible to an erotic culture are developed.

Contact: Gina Wiesmann and Frieda Radford (Phone/Fax +34-28-173029)

Tamera - Center for Human Ecology in Portugal

Tamera is the name of a 340 acre site in Southern Portugal. Since 1995 a
cooperative of people are working to build a research settlement for all
questions of a nonviolent culture. Work is done in the areas of
spirituality, art, healing, eros, community building, architecture,
technology and ecology. The goal is self-sufficiency in energy and food
production which is already partially accomplished.

Further projects are: an international meeting place, a seminar center, a
free school with horse riding facilities and an artists colony.

The staff of Tamera is twenty people at the moment, and many committed
regular visitors. Additional individuals and projects can join in if
they are in alignment with the overall concept. There are programs on the
various areas of research and work camps available all year long.
Contact: Tamera - Center for Human Ecology Monte Cerro, P-7655 Colos,
Por- tugal (Phone +351-83-63306 or Fax -63374), Email:

www: hftp://communities.gaia.org/tamera

Belzig, May 1998

Welcome to ZEGG - Welcome to ZEGG - Welcome to ZEGG -

ZEGG Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 89 D-14806 BeIzig/ Germany +49-(0)33841-59510

U.S. ZEGG TYPE COMMUNITY: (Note from Art Rosenblum)

I spent ten days at ZEGG in 1996 and found ZEGG to be the group most
likely to bring a positive future to this planet. Now, with Judy, my wife
and son Joel (15, homeschooled and computer teacher), we're looking for
people and place to start a ZEGG type community in U.S.

-Art Rosenblum: 215-848-2292

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