This website was created as part of a Bachelor thesis within the fields of Popular Culture and Social Anthropology at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Based on fieldwork conducted in 2015 during a four-week stay at Olala Farms in North San Juan, California, USA, this multimedia ethnography was created as an alternative way of communicating anthropological data that was collected by means of interviews, informal conversations, photographs, and most importantly, ethnographic video. Following the life of retired artists Arlo Cubit Acton (*1933) and Robyn Martin (*1944), who both have Master's Degrees in Sculpture and Fine Arts and have been part of the counterculture movement of the 1960s in San Francisco, this website invites you to explore how their lives have changed and evolved after going 'back-to-the-land' by moving to Olala Farms in the early 1970s, and by becoming more or less self-sufficient organic farmers.
The structure of this website encourages you to learn more about different topics surrounding Olala Farms, ranging from art movements in San Francisco, to growing up on the farm and more-or-less off the electrical grid, to organic farming, as well as dealing with the changes of growing old. The non-linearity of this website - with no clear beginning, middle, or end - leaves it up to you, in what order you want to explore Olala Farms: you are free to explore only the topics that interest you and you have the possibility to pursue anything in more depth through the provided links.
We suggest you begin by pressing the button above that says Start Exploring the Farm. To learn more about the people we met at Olala Farms, visit the Who is Who section. If you are interested in the theoretical background, the methods used, the entire research process, or the creation of this website, the section About the Project will give you a more detailed insight. To provide easier access to all the ethnographic videos recorded throughout the fieldwork, the section Videos contains them in alphabetical order.