Video & Edit by Emily Harger, Keith Rutowski, and Nicole Raucheisen

This piece was produced for Home: From The Ground Up , a collaborative multimedia project created through the 2015 Soul of Athens put on by the School of Visual Communication. View the full story here

Wind whistles through the trees and down the back country roads of the small village of Rutland, Ohio. A wigwam is tucked into the tall grass and wooded foothills of Appalachia, a region Sarah Fick has called home since she was born.

After five years of saving up enough money, Sarah was finally able to purchase a plot of land where she could build a space that reflected her ideals of self-reliance and environmentalism. “To me, I’m here and this is where I take my stand,” says Sarah. “This is where I try to do my best to be responsible to the land that I live on, to take as best care of it as I can and to protect it—to protect my living environment.” A critic of capitalism and the energy industry that utilizes the region’s resources, Sarah chooses to remove herself from the commodification of everyday life to prove that sustainable living and healthy, conscious interaction with the world around her is possible.