8th Auroville Film Festival, Day 2

Sometimes we need to step outside our world for a clearer view, and this is exactly what two filmmakers do in “Auroville Exchange”. Hailing from two opposite ends of India, Auroville’s Serena Aurora and Lobsang from Zanskar Valley in Ladakh each explore one another’s world on their quest for sustainable living.

With diametrically opposite climates and very different languages and cultures, it can seem as if Ladakh and Auroville were in two separate countries. Faced with melting glaciers and a rapidly rising population, Zanskar Valley, traditionally sparsely populated and self-sufficient, is threatened by water scarcity. An energetic campaigner for sustainability, Lobsang’s search for solutions for his people leads him across the country to Auroville, where he meets remarkable leaders in ecological experimentation. Meanwhile, Serena from tropical coastal oasis Auroville journeys to an altitude of 5000 m in Ladakh, where she explores traditional Buddhist culture and the authenticity of a self-reliant life in the highlands, far away from the city buzz.

Comparing their experiences, both travellers discover a deep commitment to their respective societies, which are as resilient as their residents. Their conclusion: Zanskar valley and Auroville are both spiritual communities worthy of a future. In this thought-provoking short film, Serena shows how human unity can be found even in our differences by holding true to our shared aspirations for a harmonious existence.

by Daniel