Generation Cooperative — In Generation Cooperative, Rosina Andreou and Dorothy Allen-Pickard offer a glimpse into the lives of young American students who found an alternative to overpriced housing in communal living.

If you’re a young adult in 2017, it’s likely you’re not doing too well housing-wise. Stuck in a seemingly inescapable whirlwind of impossible rents, unsafe and unsanitary living conditions, with landlords who expect sexual favours and a myriad of other problems. It’s pretty hard not to despair.

But when there’s nowhere left to run, what do we do? Try to create alternatives, and rely on each other. One of the many ways students around the world have been doing that is through housing co-ops – communal living spaces with much-lower-than-average rents, entirely autonomously and democratically run by the students who live within them.

In Generation Cooperative, UK filmmakers Rosina Andreou and Dorothy Allen-Pickard spend two years speaking to young people living in different housing co-ops based around the US.

The resulting documentary offers a small glimpse into a host of different experiences, all based around the same principle of communal living, and the challenges and rewards that come with it. From the LGBTQ community living at Oscar Wilde House, the first queer co-op of Berkeley to the party people of clothing-optional Texas co-op 21st Street. Then we travel to Berkley’s Afro House, the co-op working as a support system and community for people of colour who are living in a very white environment, before stopping off at Her House, a Boston co-op offering support to low-income female students who would not be able to attend the university if it weren’t for alternative housing.

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