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Dylan Weidman

July 23, 2012


Hudson, NY


Recorded by

Ben Lander

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This interview with Dylan Weidman was conducted at his home in Hudson, N.Y. on July 23rd 2012. It was conducted as part of a larger oral history of Germantown Community Farm (GCF) during the 2012 Oral History Summer School. The interview covers Dylan's early life on The Farm, a commune in Tennessee, and his Childhood with politically radical hippie parents. Dylan discusses his travels around the world and particularly the USA where he often visited friends and took part in various protests against established powers, such as the WTO, the Democratic Party, and the Republican Party.  Dylan talks about the purchase of the land that would become the GCF by his friend Asa, and changes at the farm over the years. He discusses the challenges of intentional communities as well as the importance of having a model and space like GCF in a community. He concludes by talking about the relationship between GCF and the local community where questions of access to land are politically and economically fraught.

Interviewer Bio:
Ben Lander

I am currently a professor of History and Social Science at Dawson College in Montreal. I was born in England and moved to Canada when I was eight. I was excited to come to Canada because I had thought it was barren wilderness where my family and I would build a log cabin and fend for ourselves, Swiss Family Robinson style. Although I was somewhat disappointed by the reality of suburban Nova Scotia, I nevertheless stuck to my fantasy and for almost a year would take an axe and chop down a tree most days after school and several on the weekend. I think, perhaps, this connects to my interest in oral history because, as a practice, it searches for the meanings and myths in people's lives, not facts that might constrain their understanding of self or the world. My interest in history and storytelling led me through many forms of media and various university degrees searching for documents where individual lives intersected with broader social, political and cultural events. Having completed Oral History Summer School, I am excited to have oral history as a new practice to introduce to my students and the stories of residents of Hudson to think about as I pursue my own work.

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This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.

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Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”

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