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short film, what's a colloquium?

Posted: July 8 2020

From filmmaker Matt Anderson:

In 2013 I released a documentary called ‘Fall and Winter’ which was about the rise and fall of industrial civilization. When we began filming in 2008 the realities of climate change and the end of our resource-intensive way of life seemed pretty distant. But after filming multiple crises first-hand and listening to the many experts I interviewed it became obvious; our industrial systems have exhausted the natural world and collapse is inevitable.

After touring ‘Fall and Winter’ to festivals all over the world, I got more deeply involved with several networks of people busy preparing for this looming crisis. In particular, I became close with the biointensive agriculture and natural building movements that I discovered while making ‘Fall and Winter’. I decided to continue documenting these communities with the intention of illustrating the importance of learning to feed and shelter ourselves as these challenges unfurled.

In October of 2015, I filmed the 20th Natural Building Colloquium in Kingston, New Mexico. The idea was to make a documentary about the history of the natural building movement in the US. For a week I ran around filming the action, interviewing many of the pioneers who had rediscovered and refined the ancient art of hand-building homes with natural materials.

Inspired after the colloquium, my partner Renata Abbade and I became entranced with the idea that we too could build our own home. So we teamed up with Michael G. Smith and Amanda Fischer and organized a series of workshops to do just that. By the spring of 2016 Renata and I began building a home in northern California with a rag-tag group of students, volunteers and experienced builders.

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