Remembering Here&Now — 07 March 2011

Video made by Australian sannyasins in the early eighties for Osho to see what his people were doing there

A video showing sannyasins and their activities all around Australia was made in 1983 or 1984 for Osho in time for his birthday. Joseph London made this video public. He digitized the video from a degraded VHS copy and the quality is the best that could be done. However, the footage looks charmingly ancient and I was amazed just how many friends I remembered! (In case you are asked for a password, this is it: freozorba1)

Happy Birthday Bhagwan from Joseph London on Vimeo – password: freozorba1

The town owes its name to English Captain Charles Howe Fremantle (1800-1869) who landed HSM Challenger in 1829 just steps from the mouth of the beautiful Swan River and claimed “formal possession of the whole of the west coast of New Holland in the name of his Britannic Majesty.”

Fremantle used to be a nondescript port town that suddenly jolted to fame because of the American Cup in 1987. The major of Remantle and the Western Australian government decided to host the event, and a lot of public and private money was poured in; the town emerged face-lifted and looking spectacular.

Joseph is presently working on a documentary about Fremantle, which he calls it his heartland. He said, “I wish to show how the vibrant sannyasin community came to be successfully established and integrated here, what they contributed to the atmosphere that had developed in Fremantle and what it was like to be a part of this atmosphere is a focus of this story.

“In addition, and as a counterpoint to the more celebratory aspects of the earlier times, I’ll also be exploring the sannyasin ideals of no-mind, freedom and emptiness. For me, this is a very compelling way to consider our own existence in our isolated home town and reflect on its evolutions.

“Starting in the seventies, the scope of this documentary is to uncover what Fremantle was in the period of transition from a decaying port town – a working class, migrant town of industry – into a vibrant mix which became a breeding ground for alternative thinking of all types, of art, music, philosophy and education – a refuge from the more conservative values of Perth.

“My memory of the time prior to the Cup coincides with the reflections of my parent’s generation who came to settle here: the streets were alive, it was a village and there was certain euphoria – optimism, creativity and tolerance – in the air.

“This documentary will be an oral history, told by those who were there. It is an opportunity for this history and its significance to be preserved.”

Joseph London  is a resident of Fremantle, a picturesque town in Western Australia, close to Perth. He grew up around the corner from the Sahajam Rajneesh Sannyas Ashram and Commune in the eighties.

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