free
adjective \ˈfrē\

: not costing any money

: enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another

: not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being

: choosing or capable of choosing for itself


dwell
verb \ˈdwel\

: to live in a particular place

WHAT

The Free Dwellers tells the stories of Americans living alternatively and simply. We ask how their lifestyles can serve as models for a more sustainable future, through greater self-sufficiency and connection to nature.

Through our interactions, we will evaluate the so-called environmental values that are woven throughout American culture. We are on a quest to find honest innovation born from nonconformity. The project is an inquiry into the functions and practices of unconventional lifestyles. We ask: how do  they contribute to a more robust and nurturing society? And how might humans thrive in harmony with nature?

WHY

In questioning widespread environmental ideology, we initiate a potent and vital dialogue. We posit that much of the environmental movement is drowned in its own jargon and propaganda. The vocabulary has strayed from and/or lost its original meaning from overuse.

We believe that our definition of “sustainability” should truly mimic that of natural ecosystems. Ecosystems are self-sufficient and cyclic in their waste to energy consumption. They innately work toward homeostasis, constantly adapting and responding to changes in the system. Despite their resilience, human dominance has skewed this natural balance.  Thus, we believe that true sustainability includes respect for and cooperative interaction with our natural surroundings.     

WHO

The Free Dwellers will feature Americans who have chosen to live intentionally and outside of convention. The objective is not to emphasize extremes,  but to illustrate the variance among these less common livelihoods. We intend to interview a wide range of Free Dwellers: from families to communities; from rural homesteaders to urban innovators; from daily grind escapees to adventurous bootstrappers.

To  delve into their philosophies, ponderings and proficiencies, we will immerse ourselves in their surroundings - both built and natural. We will seek insight into their stimuli and their struggles, their motivations and their mishaps - portraying their stories truthfully and palpably.

HOW

The shared accounts will be based from interviews and interactions with subjects. We will use photography, poetry, prose, and mixed media art forms to exemplify the essences of their lifestyles. Our findings will be compiled into a three printed issues at the culmination of our trip.

WHERE

The Free Dwellers focuses on Americans and their ways of life. Our road trip will take us across the United States, beginning on the East Coast and ending on the West.

WHEN

Summer 2015.  We will post updates to our blog throughout the journey.