Bolinas

Bolinas is a small, unincorporated and off-the-grid community in Northern California. Resting precariously on the coast of the Pacific, straddling two geographic plates, dirt roads with hand-painted signs mark the pathways between a notoriously reclusive population with a rich cultural and agricultural history. A collective effort to clean up after an oil spill brought the people of Bolinas together, and their desires to live an intrinsically shared existence with one another and closely to the land on their own terms is how they decided to stay.

There are no longer any true communes in town but that same sharing mentality of perpetual exchange and engagement still persists. My point of entry and access to the town was through a close childhood friend who started sharing a home with seven others in late 2008. Interested in the ideology of collective engagement and relationship to place and the social significance of the resurgence of back to the land communities, I wanted to investigate this experience with my camera, exploring how individuals shape their understanding of self within the context of coherence among others and the land. I was intrigued by the intricacy and complexity of interconnectedness, the invisible web binding moments together, the near seamless relationship between humans and nature. With the work I try to understand – why people desire to go to the land and create an alternative path in life, what makes a place a home, how do we truly define what home even means.