The art of becoming territory Goldsmiths College

“It’s like living in the playground you always dreamt of as a child.” Camille, occupier of the zad.

“That’s how I resist, by keeping working till the police arrive. Whether we like it or not we have become more than ourselves.”  Marcel, Farmer living and working on the zad.

On the western edge of France, 4000 acres of wetlands, fields and forests have become a liberated zone, a vast laboratory of autonomy, where 200 people in 60 different collectives live together without the state, occupying the land against a new airport project for the city of Nantes. Politicians call it “a territory lost to the republic”. The local farmers and villagers, activists and naturalists, squatters and trade unionists, who are part of the growing movement against the airport and its world, call it The zad – The zone to defend.

With its bakeries, pirate radio station, tractor repair workshop, brewery, banqueting hall, medicinal herb gardens, a rap studio, dairy, vegetable plots, weekly newspaper, flour mill, library and even a surrealist lighthouse, the zad has become a concrete experiment in taking back control of everyday life. In 2012 the French state’s attempt to evict the zone was fiercely resisted and the police have not set foot there since. Every time the threats of eviction resurface, over 40,000 people take part in creative acts of disobedience to defend the zone. 

Since 2004 The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination has brought artists and activist together to co-create new forms of disobedience. Now based on the zad, co founders John Jordan and Isa Fremeaux will share their experience of living and working in this new commune for the 21st century. 

Wed 8 February 2017 18:30 – 20:30 pm

LVMH Lecture Theatre (E002)

Central Saint Martins

1 Granary Square


N1C 4AA 

Eventbrite event

Friday 10 February 13.00-15.00 pm

Richard Hogart Building, RHB 304

Goldsmiths College

New Cross SE14 5TT 

Facebook event

For more info on the zad:

Twitter: @ZAD_NDDL  #zad #nddl

Zad Facebook page in french

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