Notes from the frontier

Having mapped out the possibilities for future pathways in Griffith Review 52: Imagining the Future, this special ebook presents two accounts from writers who haven't simply thought about new horizons, they've gone out to put their hopes into action.

In 'A prosperous descent: Telling new stories as the old book closes', Samuel Alexander recounts his experiences of creating and maintaining a sustainable eco-village in country Victoria. It's an engaging account of the trials and triumphs that such a project involves, from assembling a group of willing volunteers, to building infrastructure from scratch and scavenged materials, to surviving day-to-day without many of the amenities of the modern world. What does the experience add up to? And does it offer a potential model for social change as environmental issues become ever more urgent?

Bronwyn Adcock takes the plunge and decides to live in a home powered exclusively by solar energy. 'Walking on sunshine: Leaping off the grid' is a memoir that recounts her experiences of building and living in a house without a connection to the main electricity grid. Will it involve a dramatic change to her life? And can she succeed in weaning herself off the Western world's most addictive substance – fossil fuel?

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