A hamlet (there was simply no way to get around this pun), is a small grouping of buildings, usually significantly smaller than a village. A hamlet is not autonomous, politically or economically. However, it is clearly defined in terms of geography and demography. Inhabitants of a hamlet share resources: this can involve wells or other water systems, coverage of the buildings like road connec- tions or electricity. Most likely, the neighbors are the first responders in case of need or emergency, but - like all neighbors - also the people one might find conflict with. The closeness, in simultaneous displacement from everything outside, is likely decisive. The hamlet is on its own, but politically and economically dependent on and connected to the rest of the world.
The name a hamlet, a village or an enterprise gives itself is sometimes hard to comprehend with ample historic distance. In this specific case, the rout of artist’s studios is called Studio Chantal. Well, something might as well ought to be written on the town sign or the mailbox.
A small place, an overseeable community and shared resources lead to an entirely different kind of intimacy in comparison to life in a city or a stand-alone single family home on a large lot. In a quiet night, the neighboring family’s argument, the crying of a baby or the celebration of a happy occa- sion is audible to everyone. Often, everyone is even part of it. On the next day, in the only bar in this place, people ask what might have happened, if anyone is in need of help or if there’s a possibility
to team up in order to solve a problem. If the neighbors don’t show up at the bar, its a free for all to gossip and bad-mouth, to begrudge and plot intrigues.
The moments of coming together generate the daily life of a small community of fate. Dreams, memories and desires for foreign places are developed together, myths are created, relationships emerge and break apart. Property and territory are equally negotiated, just like the common resources and livelihoods. Conflict and resolution regarding the common are equally part as is the eyeballing
of the individual and judgement on its effect on the whole is passed. Where the exact separation or border between the common and the individual, the inside and outside, lies is not always unambiguous. Sometimes it’s nothing, sometimes it’s everything, often it’s both at the same time.