bm252 Christiania, The Story of a Free Community

by bicyclemark

During my visit to Copenhagen, I went over to Christiania in hopes of speaking with people who could share their experience, living there and observing or taking part in events as they’ve unfolded over the past 3+ decades.  I found myself at an art exhibit opening where kind Christianians pointed me to Mr. Morten Nielsen.  We sat and talked for about thirty minutes. I was, admittedly, surprised and pleased that he was willing to tell his story and his experiences living in the community since 1974. (3 years after it was established).

SidestreetThroughout the interview I tried to ask questions related to all the rumors and stories that I’ve come to know through either word of mouth here in Central Europe or through the media where occasional stories appear about how Christiania is changing or will end or.. name your rumor. The following is a podcast of that interview, complete with loud gentleman arguing some point in the background. A fitting backdrop (or otherwise forgive the background yelling, he quiets down eventually) for a conversation about a place where people are free to think and live in a very different way.

Our Topics Include:

  • The Founding of Christiania
  • Schools and Children
  • The materials and structure of houses
  • Work, What do people do?
  • Drugs, Drug addiction, and Drug rehabilitation in Christiania
  • Infrstructure; water, electricity, communal money
  • Community rule enforcement and activists
  • Relations with the city of Copenhagen
  • The various plans and agreements between the city and Christiania
  • The disagreements among residents about change and the plans
  • Sustainability, now and with the future changes.