Friland was created as an attempt to get away from debt slavery, the subsidy jungle and waste streams. A new self-built village, where home workplaces and establishment of businesses will ensure life in the village daily. Dissemination of the many aspects of the free life has had priority from the start through cooperation with Danish TV and later most through tours, lectures and written articles in different contexts.
As is apparent today, Friland has been created in 3 laps. In 2002, the first phase of 14 households began and after the birth of phase 3 in 2011, the Friland is currently home to 42 households – many with independent professions – either full time or part-time employment.
After 15 years one can say that Friland is still finding its way. There are still a lot of parcels, but there is also a development away from the primary focus on construction, which was especially true in the first 10 years.
It is both exciting and challenging to develop sustainable decision-making processes and find common denominators in a bunch of 70 adults, which are primarily based on a diversity principle.
Diversity is expressed as a great spread in age, profession, dreams and wishes for the everyday life Friland is the subject of. It is also expressed in the big difference in how the inhabitants managed to achieve debt-free life, how much focus is on minimizing waste in everyday life and how each family has built houses.
Friland is certainly not a ‘holy’ place. But it is a place where there the initiative is enormous:
Some meet in the sauna cabin in the common area and sweat together on a Saturday evening
Some meet with knitwear, sewing needles and the mobile jewelry workshop to produce for the annual Christmas market
Some get exercised by joining a joint dance
Some arrange a feast, which involves just about everyone
Some find together in working communities
Some ideas develop together and create businesses
Some home teachers teach the children
Some invest time and energy in projects that extend beyond Friland.
Some establish ambitious companies that put Friland on the Danish map – and even beyond the borders of the country
Some live the quiet life and live very minimalistic.
Some works for self-sufficiency and are well on their way.
At Friland there are many firebrands who make a great effort for the social community at Friland and in the local area. Much is driven by passion and the desire to make a difference.
It is the firebrands, that makes Friland alive.
Right now, Friland is in the process of finding a vision that goes further into the future. Because when the free life without debt and with a sustainably furnished everyday life is roughly in place, where is it, then we want to go?
If you want to experience Friland’s diversity, there is an open exhibition every summer – the last Sunday in June. And you can also keep track of many of the ongoing activities on both website and Facebook.
Helle Hestbjerg, Friland