Summer University 2013

"Terra Nova - Global Revolution and healing of love."

Review of the Summer University

This year's Summer University has been the first annual meeting of the School Terranova with around 300 guests from 36 countries, including groups from crisis areas in Africa, the Middle East and South America, and of the scenes of riots in Turkey, Brazil and Egypt. Triggered by the world events, we decided on short notice to strongly change the picture of the Summer University and hold it as a solidarity event for the people demonstrating on the streets. Instead of a normal conference structure, various community camps were set up where guests, students and Tamera co-workers lived closely together in deep sharing and studying.


This turned out to be a full success. Everyone felt embedded, seen and welcomed and still felt part of the bigger group.


The Summer University is an event where Tamera shares community knowledge, recent thoughts and research results. At the same time it is a space for participants from all over the world to share their stories. 


We listened to the story of pain and uprising in Tibet shared by the Buddhist Lama Thubten Wangchen. Tibet has suffered occupation for over 50 years. He shared his individual pain as a man who lost his mother and home very early, and also the pain of witnessing so many young people in Tibet burning themselves alive. We heard his intense call to the international world: "Help to inform the world about what is really happening in Tibet. Overcome the power of indifference."





A group of nine Palestinian permaculture specialists and water engineers from the Westbank came to Tamera to participate in the ecological education for building water retention landscapes, which took place in August. They were part of a bigger group of specialists dedicated to create an ecovillage in Palestine. Their stories led us into the pain of war and the pain of a life under occupation. Most of them were several times imprisoned in Israeli prisons, some were even tortured. 

Thair, a young Palestinian from the West Bank, was sentenced at the age of 17 to two years of prison, without ever knowing what he had been accused of. Despite these drastic experiences, all of them today strive for peace and reconciliation.


Another three young activists had come directly from the protest movement in Istanbul. One of them said: „After an incredible awakening of people power in Turkey in the last weeks, we are now asking ourselves what is next for the movement. We are finding ourselves at a crossroads: Either the uprising will lead to increasing violence and confrontations or we will really be able to establish something profoundly new. In order to achieve long-lasting change, we now need real life models to show how a new path could be.“

Together the three women now want to kick-start a Terra Nova station in Istanbul. Further in the future, they are dreaming of establishing a model community that could provide the revolution in their country with a greater perspective.


Tiyéda Abalah co-founded an extraordinary initiative for rural development in Togo (CIDAP). 

They have shown how people in impoverished areas can regain their autonomy and dignity through food self-sufficiency. Their work was wonderfully portrayed in the documentary film “The Dancing Forest” by Brice Lainé:







Tiyéda expressed her gratitude: “With Tamera we have the opportunity to become part of an international network. This is precious for us and empowers many of our women.”


These are four examples of people and groups who do their important work under the pressure of poverty and dictatorship. Despite their diversity, they met in Tamera, all with the same longing for a just and peaceful world. For many, it has been an experience of being with people free of fear, to talk about their pain, but also about their visions.


Also participants from Portugal, Bolivia, Israel and European countries talked about their thoughts and projects. Speeches of the founders of Tamera, Dieter Duhm and Sabine Lichtenfels, and of the young leading generation, Vera Kleinhammes, Martin Winiecki, Mara Vollmer, and Rui Braga, the person in charge of the Portugal-network laid a common spiritual basis.


By intensely sharing and studying potential solutions, the painful messages from the world could reach our hearts. Compassion for the world is the motivating force to fully strive for a new system including meaningful perspectives for our own lives. 


Next year the Tamera Summer University will again serve as the annual meeting of the Terra Nova School - Date: 1 - 10 August 2014.



Gift economy on the Summer University