ZEGG, with about 85 adults and 15 children, emphasizes the socio-cultural dimension of sustainability. (All photos: http://www.zegg.de/en/ unless otherwise credited.)

ZEGG invented a highly successful method of group process work called the Forum that is now used in communities around the world.

Contact improvisational dance, a freeform mixture of partner yoga and dance, is a common means of artistic expression at ZEGG. Photo: Roland Ficht

The ZEGG Choir includes singers from the local area.

Performing arts at ZEGG often include explorations of human sexuality. Photo: Roland Ficht

The Love Hut is a secluded, private retreat space.

All members participate in communal work. Here they are raising “The Big Tent” for ZEGG’s annual summer camp.

Several hundred guests attend the summer camp. Behind is ZEGG’s heating system, which the community converted from coal to waste wood pellets from the timber industry.

ZEGG’s summer camp offers a wide range of performances and workshops on every aspect of sustainability.

ZEGG’s pub offers an ideal venue for dance and celebration.

Theatre and creative expression are also a vital part of childhood at ZEGG.

Young children attend ZEGG’s Nature Kindergarten and participate in communal projects such as building this earthen oven.

ZEGG is highly adept at hosting events. Here Philip Munyasia, a Kenyan agro-ecologist, addresses a GEN gathering at ZEGG.

Paintings by community members brighten up the otherwise drab Nazi-era buildings.

Some ZEGG members find the inner life increasingly compelling. For one member, this meditation yurt offers an intimate space for “making love to God.”

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Ninety minutes by train from Berlin, outside the town of Belzig, is ZEGG, the Center for Experimental Cultural Design (Zentrum für esperimentelle Gesellschaftsgestaltung).

As of 2011, ZEGG has 100 members, including 15 children.

Founded in 1991 on a former Nazi sports camp and East German secret police facility, ZEGG has regenerated the land and buildings with an ecological sewage treatment plant, carbon-neutral heating, thoroughly insulated buildings, and organic gardens.

ZEGG’s members believe that the life force of humanity, including our capacity for building a sustainable society, will only be liberated when we learn to take a non-possessive approach to sexuality.

I had strong reservations about visiting ZEGG, but many people with no interest in polyamorous lifestyles encouraged me—on the basis of ZEGG’s influence on the global communities movement—to go.

Having survived all manner of emotional upheaval among its members, ZEGG developed a group process called the Forum to explore highly charged feelings through dramatic enactments within a collective meditative space. The Forum has proven to be successful as well as portable. For the last 15 years, ZEGG has offered courses and seminars on the Forum for communities around the world as a tool for fostering greater self-awareness and social bonding.

Official website (in English): http://www.zegg.de/en/

News and photos from ZEGG http://www.zegg.de/en/news/news-from-zegg.html

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