Nestled within the alpine foothills of Piedmont, Italy, Damanhur is a neighborhood of six hundred folks coexisting as a federation of non secular communities, and is in response to a ‘charter’ made up of tradition, artwork, track, forex, colleges, science, and generation. It used to be Damanhur’s area of expertise that first introduced long-term NOWNESS collaborator and filmmaker Ivan Olita to this magical location, which used to be initially based in 1975 by way of Falco Tarassaco, né Oberto Airaudi (1950-2013). Based at the ideas of unity, sharing, love, and admire for the surroundings, Damanhur’s crowning jewel is a subterranean temple advanced named the Temples of Humanity. Plunging some 30 metres underground, the seven chambers of the temple constitute issues together with society, the human psyche, planetary touch, and the earth itself.
These constructions—luxurious, symbolic caves wealthy with imagery and icons—have been constructed with out formal making plans permission, resulting in a anxious standoff with the Italian government who—tipped off at the location of the constructions by way of locals—raided the temple in 1991. During the quest, a state prosecutor demanded that the temples be published, “or we will be able to dynamite all the hillside.” Fortunately, the Italian govt in the end granted the neighborhood retroactive privileges to construct those unheard of constructions. They stay open to guests to nowadays.
Olita, proceeding his long-term filmic analysis into religious communities around the globe, noticed in Damanhur an alternative choice to extra restrictive communes and dogmas; the religious trail of each and every member being open, subjective, and in the long run an engagement with their very own identification. Read under our complete interview with the globe-trotting director, and in finding out extra about this neighborhood’s distinctive view of the arena. The movie is the 3rd instalment in Olita’s ongoing religion trilogy, which incorporates his tough NOWNESS premiere Contra Daemones.
‘IT’S SURPRISING… ASTONISHING’
How did you first uncover Damanhur—and what made making a decision to movie right here in particular? What drew you to it?
I first came upon Damanhur when I used to be a young person. I consider a pal of mine telling me about it. At that point, Falco, the founding father of the neighborhood used to be nonetheless alive and his movements locally had a large number of media publicity in Italy. We are dominated by way of the Vatican and the whole thing that isn’t throughout the Catholic teachings is deemed by some means heretic. I consider being very all in favour of this neighborhood…Also, I had the hobby in capturing a trilogy about religion. I went to Kyoto to report the Tendai Monks that go through excruciating coaching to achieve enlightenment, in Italy to report crucial exorcist for the Vatican and this gave the look to be a captivating ultimate bankruptcy.
What stunned you about Damanhur?
The complete concept of a neighborhood for esoteric wisdom in the course of a tiny Italian village is lovely sudden. Also Damhur isn’t self contained– It in reality is manufactured from a number of micro-villages spreads around the valley so, even from a social and architectural standpoint is lovely attention-grabbing to look how the two combine… You would be expecting Damanhur to be completely self enough and I assume that they’re from an educational standpoint however there’s an inherent ‘italianity’ within the device that’s inevitable given the dislocated nature of the neighborhood. So it’s a captivating patchwork of your informal italian eating place subsequent to a few Damanhurian owned industry subsequent to a compound of homes in the place to check some esoteric science. Aside from the Damil,the hq of the neighborhood you don’t in point of fact notice you’re in Damanhur, it feels simply being round Italian valleys.The temple (neatly, numerous books had been written about it however regardless) is sudden—astonishing, in point of fact.
Did the spirituality of the website affect the way you approached the shoot? Did you’re feeling like a player whilst you have been there, or extra of a far off observer—an anthropologist or an acolyte?
I at all times really feel some type of anthropologist and even supposing I don’t have a systemic way to my topics I do have to investigate them to an extent and relate my research to other folks, different cultures, different topics… That mentioned I additionally expand an excessively robust reference to whoever I shoot with, it’s nearly a type of a spell, so I’m at all times in point of fact concerned. In this example in particular Celastrina (Rebekka) has my identical age and springs from a quite an identical background. While we have been there capturing within the mountains I incessantly instances discovered myself considering… “What if I made up our minds to simply come and reside right here?”
Would you go back to Damanhur, and why?
I’d completely go back! I am making plans to move there quickly. I believe Damanhur a middle for human possible construction. There is not anything that some distance out about that.. And they host a wide variety of weeklong workshops if you have an interest in creating and or finding out some alchemy, lucid dreaming or exploration of time and previous lives.
You’ve in the past shot a movie about Catholicism and exorcism, which used to be premiered on NOWNESS. How does this sort of religious society range from the extra historic type of Christianity?
The primary distinction with out coming into in main points is that Damanhurians don’t apply any more or less dogma, while catholicism is an attractive dogmatic faith.The exorcist I met used to be very enlightened despite the fact that and he may just hint again to the roots of his non secular ideals, he knew the holy writings and with him christianity turned into extra of a metaphysical revel in for me. Damnhurians to the contrary imagine in private empowerment, and within the hidden rules of the universe. There isn’t any dogma, it’s extra about uncovering historic knowledges and placing them to make use of.
Based on what you noticed and shot, why may folks select to reside in Damanhur or, for that topic, any religious society outdoor of standard social constructions? Is this a response in opposition to the cruelties, alienation, and overload of fashionable society?
People in Damanhur, in addition to in different communities around the globe reminiscent of Auroville (or to a lighter extent Esalen inCalifornia) are simply seeking to query the best way we will be able to reside lifestyles. I believe those communities are patently a part of the 1960s counterculture however are certainly having a comeback now.
—Interview by way of Owen Gwynne Vince