John Richard // Bocce Ball Films

Christiania, Denmark's Social Experiment, 2007

Christiania, also known as Freetown Christiania (Danish: Fristaden Christiania) is a neighborhood in the Danish capital of Copenhagen that has been semi-autonomously governed by its residents since it was squatted in 1971.  Formerly the military barracks of Bådsmandsstræde, the commune is home to around 850 residents who live in homes constructed primarily of recycled or repurposed building materials.  I photographed the community during the summer of 2007, during which time government workers demolished a small building known as Cigarkassen ("the cigar box"), provoking an brief period of demonstrations.  The future of Christiania is uncertain but its reputation as the most enduring utopian community of the 20th century remains.