Between utopias and dystopias: letting the Real emerge

To write about the creation of the Josefa Mill is to envisage, at the thresholds as at the heart of a territory, a utopia, that of a shared space, re-inhabited and enriched by the migrations of all of us being-living. The place is alive, migrating.

At the Josefa Mill, in Walhain, in Wallonia, according to movements, experiences and knowledge, to the extent of a possible cartography of variations in history and biodiversity, it is a question of thinking a path from the outside to the inside, from exteriority to interiority: To walk as the semi-nomads that we are, sometimes sedentary, sometimes nomadic, always migrating, between our utopias and the dystopias that emerge along the creative path; dystopias that come to constrain, limit, contradict, orient creative thought, the breakthrough of the Real.

The desire to create commonalities in the image of a monastery signifying its hospitality through the absence of walls or the breaking down of borders.

Willingness to let the poetics of the place speak for itself: the harmonics of the omnipresent water, an invigorating and energising source, a source of meditation, contemplation and action.

Living, letting yourself live: ecological migration.

 "Habitat Josefa - Moulin Josefa": Habitats, Arts, Biodiversities and Spiritualities.

Therefore, the process could be entitled: For an eco-spiritual design of the place/territory "Josefa Mill": via a participatory economy because it is migrational.

In terms of stages, the process could be presented in this way with many variables of adjustments and co-creation:


Discover the DNA of the "Josefa Mill" in its "bio-diversities" throughout its history (an island whose story emerges from the 12th century). Analyze in a precise way the variations of the biodiversity (the parcel lends itself well to this in its surface), the surrounding energy (water), the possible pollution, the reality of the mobilities.

Appreciate the surrounding context: political (municipality, region, etc.), sociological (neighbours…), urban planning, economic, historical (cf. Mill and Tower of Alvaux).

Measure the stakes: define the common elements present (water, land, history, living resources: human, animal, vegetable, mineral) and above all the conditions and requirements for habitability (in the broadest sense of the term) and adaptability.

Assume the contingencies of the place (water, urban planning legislation, land pressure, mobility routes).


Why our project? Its intentionality, its ambition, its specificity; combination of spheres: migrant habitats, arts, biodiversity, spirituality; combination of structures and actors; associates, co-residents, "volunteers", "provider-partners".

For what transition/conversion?

Thinking about the commons (between living beings including humans).

Habitats and biodiversity

Arts and spiritualities

What resources, what constraints, what autonomies, what relationships to share?

According to various internal spheres (associates, residents, "voluntary" actors, probono, service providers) and external spheres (relations with surrounding actors: Europe, region, municipality, neighbours, partners...)

According to physical (external) and internal (spiritual or artistic) spheres: migrant habitats (living and being lived in).


According to the right articulation of analyses, of our Why and of the principles of ecological and economic realities.

Return then to the idea of phases with a step-by-step deployment of the Josefa Habitat (existing and to be eco-constructed).

The Moulin Josefa process is launched and well launched.

In search of a timeless tradition, beyond a quest for profitability at all costs that would be dystopian: Dwellings in movement, breakthroughs in the "spirituality" of places, spaces, landscapes: space for the mysterious blossoming of the Real.