Memories of Auroville: Told by early Aurovilians (Paperback)

Memories of Auroville: Told by early Aurovilians By Janet Fearn Cover Image

Memories of Auroville: Told by early Aurovilians (Paperback)


Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days

This book is about the very early days of Auroville based on interviews made in 1997 with Aurovilians who lived here between 1968 and 1973, most of them fortunate enough to see the Mother personally. There are obviously far more people who could have been interviewed and were not, so the accounts presented offer only their insight into the full story. Nevertheless, I hope this narrative of the life of a few of Auroville's pioneers will touch and inspire many of the readers.

The interviews presented in this book are part of a history program for newcomers that I had created with my friend, Philip Melville in 1997. The plan was to divide Auroville's history into different eras and then interview Aurovilians according to their area of knowledge. Our first section would cover the years from 1968 till 1973 when the Mother was still in her physical body.

Sally Champe was a newcomer in 1997 and we asked her to do the interviews and Vladimir Yatsenko to do the video recording. At that time digital recording was very new, and hardly happening in Auroville. Vladimir used an analogue camera and the interviews were recorded on video tape.

We made 10 group conversations, which I transcribed over the next few months. We then took a break, before starting the next part, which would have been about our struggles and eventual break with the Sri Aurobindo Society.

However for reasons which I no longer remember, we did not resume working on this project and the video tapes stayed in a cupboard for the next 8 or 9 years.

In 2004 I came across the videos again. Peter Thurrel gave me an old television set, which had an attachment for watching videos. Loretta Shartsis and I watched them together and thought we had enough material to make an interesting documentary. We went to the archives and copied many old photos to support the content. Meanwhile I searched everywhere for someone who could digitize the tapes. Finally B Sullivan took them to the USA, and eventually found a person in Canada, who was able to do the job.

By this point Loretta was not able to continue so I put the project on hold again. In 2017 I showed the CDs to Kati H tger. We discovered that the tapes had deteriorated badly over the years. However we still had the transcriptions of these vivid and inspiring conversations about our very early days, so we decided to present them in this book, which would describe what happened between 1968 and 1973.

I am grateful for all the support I received to give birth to this book. My special thank you goes to: Kati H tger for working with me on this book over two long years; Pranav Kumar for the development and design of the book and this web book; Doris van Kalker and Digital Archives of Auroville for providing many of the pictures; and Prisma Books and Franz Fassbender for embarking on the adventure of this first web book of / on Auroville, and for publishing the book.

Janet Fearn, Late 2020

Product Details ISBN: 9789395460088
ISBN-10: 9395460083
Publisher: Prisma
Publication Date: January 1st, 2023
Pages: 142
Language: English