e-flux Architecure presents “Trust Land,” a lecture by Keller Easterling at e-flux on Tuesday, June 6 at 7pm.
In the wake of civil rights struggles, a rural area in Southwest Georgia became a global stage for rehearsing some of the world’s most provocative experiments with community and land tenure. An interracial intentional community, a Nation of Islam farm, the first community land trust, and a wave of cooperative experiments moving through the South in the late 1960s and 1970s found fertile ground around Albany, Georgia—a town that W. E. B. Du Bois called the “heart of the Black Belt.” But, reflecting solidarity between the civil rights, Pan-African, Nonaligned, and Tricontinental movements, associations with prominent international activists also linked this area in the US South to decolonizing efforts in the Global South just prior to a neoliberal turn. Within these networks, victims of White supremacy—best able to imagine its counter-logics within both local and international contexts—modeled approaches to survival that are now broadly relevant to today’s social and climate justice work. The story offers spatial tools and surprising histories to ground and energize a fresh wave of activism that looks to collective forms of urban and rural landholding to address racism, whiteness, inequality, reparations, and environment.