28 Apr 2006
Transition Culture Presents the UK Premiere of ‘The Power of Community’.
**Transition Culture** is delighted to be able to present the UK premiere of The Community Solution’s new film ‘The Power of Community’, at Totnes Methodist Hall on **Thursday May 25th at 8pm**. The explores the impacts of peak oil on Cuba and how the country adapted and adjusted to it. It is the perfect antidote to the End of Suburbia, drawing out the lessons from this amazing societal transition which we in the West will have to start to learn very soon. It is a wonderful and inspirational film and is one not to be missed.
Peak oil hit Cuba in the 1980s when the Soviet Union collapsed, leading to what was termed the ‘Special Period’. During that time, the average Cuban lost 20lbs, blackouts for up to 16 hours were commonplace and things were very difficult. Food rationing was introduced and agriculture had to be completely rethought. Rather than rushing out and eating each other or tumbling headlong into societal collapse, the Cubans pulled together and got on with it, with amazing results. It took 3-5 years to make the soils fertile again after years of damage from the ‘Green Revolution’. Now farmers and market gardeners are among the highest paid people in Cuba, the film makes the point that this has done a great deal to “dignify” people growing food. There has been an explosion in urban agriculture, the film visits some great projects, it is an area which is creating many jobs and is a growing sector of the economy.
Rural agriculture has changed dramatically too, pesticide use fell from 21,000 tons a year to 1,000 tons, with a great deal of research going into biocides, which Cuba now exports to other South American countries. 80% of agriculture is now organic. Transport was reconsidered, with innovative mass transit systems introduced.
What is interesting is that in spite of all these changes, Cuba has the same average life span and child mortality rates as the US, while living on only one-eighth the amount of oil. Also, in Cuba, 85% of people own their own homes, something in the UK we can only aspire to. Despite the obvious hardship of this time, Cuba has emerged as a model for positive transition. The film has been premiered in the US and in Ireland to rapturous reviews, so don’t miss this opportunity to be the first to see it in the UK. You can read more about the film and order copies when they come out here.