Transition Culture

An Evolving Exploration into the Head, Heart and Hands of Energy Descent

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4 Jul 2012

A June Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition

Let’s start this month’s round-up in the UK, in Cheltenham.  Transition Town Cheltenham have been making some gorgeous short films recently.  In the last roundup we shared the one about Ken and his allotment.  This month, firstly, Ivor, Remi and Leon talk us through the chickens in their garden, and their 8-person cargo bike:

… and secondly, a short film about In Stitches, who held their The Big Knit event at the Global Footsteps Cafe. A beautiful film about the power of knitting to build community:

These kind of short film celebrations of resilience are wonderful.  Buckingham TT are on the hunt for a spot in town to make a relaxing herb garden and community sanctuary/space for all to enjoy.   Transition Peterborough had their official launch (congratulations all!) at The Green Backyard. In case you missed it, here is the Transition Culture post by Naresh on T-Perborough’s recent Thrive training.

Transition Town Kingston recently attended an event about Rio+20 with UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey.  Here’s a short film about it:

TT-Totnes ran the Independent coffee festival back in May and Fat Lemons are still gaining local media coverage for having been voted the cafe that serves the best coffee in town.  The Western Morning News recently hailed Totnes as a ‘Town with its own mind‘ and one of the most proactive communities in Britain, the piece contained an interview with TTT’s Rob Hopkins.  The community campaign to take over a key development site in the town, the Atmos Project, recently created this short film about their campaign so far:

We recently reported on how Rebecca Mayes, whose music features in ‘In Transition 2.o’, had released the theme from the film, “Turn the Lights Out”, as a single.  As part of promoting it, here she is playing it live on the Civic Hall balcony in the middle of Totnes for Balcony TV:

TT-Honiton recently held a screening of In Transition 2.0 whilst TT-Exmouth put on a green energy evening, one of many events in their jam-packed newsletter which included planting up over 70 trees.   In Wivenhoe, the local Farmers Market welcomed the Transition café.  T-Abbots Langley held a spot the window competition. Here is a lovely feature/ interview with Frances Beaumont, T-Faversham’s ‘Green Grandma’ who is often seen riding her trike around town!  

In Lancashire, the newly formed T-Garstang joined Soroptomists and Bloomers to form a Garstang Diamond Jubilee Garden.   T-Clitheroe are currently working with Ribble Valley Borough Council (RVBC) to save Primrose Lodge.   TT-Wandsworth held an open event at Bramford Community Gardens. Check out TT-Tooting’s fantastic core group meeting notes (click to enlarge)!

T-Heathrow appear in a London court despite huge support from locals, their MP etc to argue for their right to remain on the site they occupied a couple of years ago and have since turned into a vibrant community hub and education resource.   In Renfrewshire, TT-Paisley have produced an EDAP, read more in the Paisley Express.   You can download their EDAP here.  Well done folks!  TT-Taunton’s June newsletter is chock full of great events including the Cycle Cinema.   From West Sussex, thanks to Anita Van Rossum of T-Chichester for this:

“Just wanna say a big thank you for putting us in touch with the wonderful women of Brazil. Hannah is off to Río next week and has made several contacts all over the country. Amazing age we live in and amazing family that is Transition!   Am sending you pics of Transition Chichester at the Jubilee Procession last Sat…the whole parade was full of the consumer society in full array….we came near to the end, which suited us well, as the contrast of our effort made quite an impact…we decorated our bikes with flowers, leaves and the priceless trappings of simple Nature to be found on each country pathway and then with our new banner and new logo plus placards of what we TC is about….

Nature is our true home …I guess was the message. Hope you like the pics. We were given little pins as a celebratory thank you for participating from the Council…we returned them. Typically they would end up in the bin….Silly waste of precious Earth resources!   All the best,   Anita.   PS. We are showing In Transition 2.0 tonight. One of our lot has written great Transition songs (very humorous) we are filming it tonite for You tube. Will advise”.  Here are Transition Chichester doing their thang:


One of Transition City Lancaster’s working groups/projects is called ‘Fruity Corners’ and you can see a great set of photos about their fruity make-over of Scotch Quarry Park here.  TCL also recently launched something called ‘The Realm Exchange’, described as “an online credit clearance system that records exchanges of goods, services and resources, without cash changing hands, between businesses, individuals, charities and social organisations”.  Here’s a short film about it, it looks great:

We reported a while ago on OVESCO, the community energy company that emerged from Transition Town Lewes, and their ‘community solar power station’ on the roof of their local brewery.  Chris Rowland from OVESCO wrote to say:

“Just thought I would let you have the good news. OVESCO have just completed a 35kWp PV array (140 panels) at Priory School in Lewes. It’s take over a year and I have become an associate governor at the school giving help to the Eco Group to make it happen. The School and the Governing body were very supportive, but it was the Schools Eco Group who relay inspired us to make this project happen. Prior to getting the project through planning we went to visit the opening of the Glyndebourne wind turbine and pupils from the school got to meet David Attenborough, who was very generous and supportive of renewable energy. Next term the Eco Group plan to use this project to recruit more members and some of the governors/TTL group want to help develop projects at the school around waste, food and energy efficiency. I have attached a wonderful picture taken this week at the school”.

We reported in the last roundup on TT-Marlborough, and their new Sunday community market  for the town.  Well, the market is now up and running, and had its launch on July 1st. Read this follow up article in Marlborough News online on how the first one went down.  It sounded amazing.  Here’s a picture of the local mayor out doing a bit of shopping at the market.  Chops by the look of it.  A hat like that takes a lot of feeding:

A couple of months ago, Cardiff Transition launched a community mapping project.  Here’s a short film about it:

TT-Redditch, along with FoE and Christian Aid held a Rio comes to Redditch event to connect their local groups with the Earth Summit in Rio.  In Poole, members of the local Transition initiative popped along to help staff at Lush cosmetics build a new strawbale coldstore:

Transition Exeter (I love their logo, see right) recently got some funding, as did a number of other Transition groups, through the LEAF fund.  Theirs “aimed to engage local communities and provide accessible information about energy efficiency through distributing leaflets, organising a doorstep survey and running Energy: Save it Yourself workshops in the three wards; to inspire by providing opportunities to learn from what others have already achieved; and to understand more fully the issues, attitudes and priorities of all parties involved to enhance dialogue and co-operation”.  They wrote a great report about it which you can read here.   Transition Town Cheltenham’s work to create food gardens in Annecy Garden in one of the town’s parks is going from strength to strength.  Read more here.

Lastly, Transition Town Worthing recently held a day on their community permaculture plot about creating sculptures. Here’s a film they made:

In Australia, the film ‘In Transition 2.0’ has been screened in communties across the country.  T-Newcastle in NSW held a screening, and here is Sandra Menteith to tell you about another screening:

“Yes, we are an official Transition initiative in the Southern Highlands of NSW Australia – Transition Shire Wingecarribee which essentially acts as a hub as the Shire covers such a large area.  The community screening is tomorrow Sunday 10th June 2pm at the local Empire cinema in Bowral. The owner is donating the use of the cinema. Two local musicians have offered to perform live in the half hour before the screening. We do not have funding and are not charging for the movie, but using it to celebrate World environment Day (a few days late) and I will be giving a short presentation on the local Transition group prior to the screening, and a colleague is facilitating a discussion post-movie where we hope to seed and support smaller transition groups at the village level. The Deputy Mayor is attending and local Council has helped with publicity –  a good experience to collaborate with local government and we hope it goes well so that we can collaborate more often”.

In Victoria, Transition MOOKY are now up and running, covering the Montrose, Mooroolbark and Kilsyth regions in the Yarra Ranges.  You can read more about them in The Maroondah Weekly, and see right. TT-Guildford’s Kitchen Gardeners Society has launched and is asking whether anyone is up to taking on Western Carers challenge to go plastic free for the month of July. Now to Brazil.  Our thanks to Isabela Maria Gomez de Menezes for this write up about the Transition Brasilândia III Sustainable Health Fair:

“The day dawned in the mountains of Cantareira Forest in Jd. Damasceno, and the organization staff of the III Sustainable Health Fair, was already up to make it all happen. Enjoying the warm sun, the group started with a walking activity complete with yoga, breathing and prolongation offered by the ONG Art of Living, followed by soccer with children in the community.

After the official opening, at the stage set by the city of São Paulo, the concerts of artistic groups did not stop a minute, starting with Group D’Rolê then Offset Band, Dance Wings of Faith, James and Timothy, Band Seven, ending with Krisma band. They also had Capoeira Game with the Genésio’s school.  With synergy and harmony, many activities were held simultaneously, had a team of UBS making medical care, counselling on STDs and AIDS, with delivery of condoms and also not lack guidance on delivery of oral health and oral hygiene kits, the children loved it!

The team of civil defence elucidated visitors about risk areas, handling gas cylinder and gas exchange of taps performed due. Residents of Jd, Damascemo could also rely on vaccination against rabies in dogs and cats, and rodents campaign against dengue offered by SUVIS, post service education Utility and Truck Aes-Eletropaulo; lot of fun with information. The crowd Arcade project was also present, recording the event, and offering workshops for kids and Stencil film shows. Other workshops also took place throughout the day, such as paper crafts with the girls at UBS, and tetrapack with mister Zagalo, a resident of Jd. Elisa Maria, not to mention the work of art made by Smoky, a street art local artist. The group participated in the Art of Living program with yoga and breathing in the morning and a tent for the dissemination of the Breathing course, Water and Sound (RAS) that is being offered in the community.

The show was also part of sustainable turn, what was happening in São Paulo between days 02 and 03. Children’s books offered by the organization was a source of many smiles in the kids who passed by. Speaking of sustainability, besides the points of delivery of oil, battery, RX drugs and junk mail, even had the wish-fulfilling tree of the group Saci, planting trees provided by DGD-norte1 and model of sustainable home, work from the workshop of sustainability. Foods and drinks were served with By the Girls of Doces Talentos group, who also took their craftwork of crochet and embroidery to sell at the fair.

The Brasilianas group also sold their bags made of reused street signs, counting an extra point for sustainability.  This great event was built through partnerships and collaboration of various actors of the civil community, public and business in order to engage in a healthy and sustainable way the  Linear Park of Canivetes creek, is the living example of collective creation, where each one donates what is possible, to do something bigger … congratulations to all who participated in this great event!”

Also in Brazil, May East arranged for Rob to Skype to a group of Brazilian permaculture designers and Transitioners who were celebrating 20 years of permaculture. The main organiser, Marcos Ninguem has taken Transition to Manaus, Joao Pessoa and Ametista and there were around 120 people from North to South of Brazil attending (see picture below).

Participants on the Alunos-Fundaluz Permaculture Design Course.

In Canada, TT Powell River held an art show an info night to showcase the Powell River $ whilst TT-Comox Valley held a screening of In Transition 2.0 followed by a discussion, read more in  Also, Transition in Toronto (TTo) held a Potluck and Free Market event and here is a great feature article about how TTo is making Transition work in the city by engaging on a neighbourhood level..  read more here.  Alberni Valley Transition Town Society recently hosted energy experts Guy Langlois and Matthew Helm-Ames at an event about energy.  Here it is:

In Ireland, the Transition Ireland/Northern Ireland hub report on an exciting new venture planned for North County Dublin, read more here.  In the Netherlands, Transition Town Groningen are working on a very exciting project to convert an old office building downtown into an energy-neutral high-rise village.  Here’s a short film about it:

Here is a blogger who visited Transition Fujino in Japan, and who reports back with some great insights and pictures, such as this one of a mini chicken tractor:

In New Zealand, Mt Eden TT have been busy planting fruit trees in City Parks.  From Portugal, we are very grateful to Filipa Pimental for sharing this lovely story of the ‘The Little Sunflower Veg Garden’ from her local Transition group Portalegre em Transição:

The ‘Sunflower veg garden’ in Portalegre takes shape.

From the Western cape in South Africa, we were delighted to stumble across this – a section dedicated to Greyton Transition Town on the official website of the Greyton Tourism Bureau!  We are also very grateful to Juan del Río for this update from the Spanish National Hub:

“The Transition Spanish Hub starts to Run! 16 and 17 June, took place in Madrid the first national meeting to specifically work on the creation of an Spanish national hub. We physically met  15 people from places like, Sevilla, Madrid, Bilbao, Valencia or Barcelona, among many others, and also people could participate virtually through internet.  With a lot of energy and creativity, and the facilitation of Javier Zarzuela and myself, we worked on the first hub structure.

First “imperfect” structure for the Spanish “Eje de Transición”

This first hub, was design with the idea of  “imperfection” in mind, because in our opinion perfection does not exist, is subjective, and what is importantant now is to function and to start doing. The ”Eje de Transición” as we’ll call the Spanish hub, starts now to run with a first structure, with a first group of people and working groups. That of course we’ll be changing  and improving along the time, but now slowly and with its own rythem starts to work.

The amazing group that met in Madrid for this creating hub meeting.

This step, after the first and very succesful Spanish conference , will definitely mean a big boost for the movement in Spain and hopefully will help on finding creative, practical and positive solutions for the difficult moments we are living, building like this local resilience and strenghtening communities”.

You can also Read in Malaga Today how Transition is inspiring a film series being held monthly at Aboretum Marbella in the lead up to a Spanish national conference on 27th October 2012.

Naresh Giangrande from Transition Network recently visited Switzerland and Sweden and gave talks in both.  The Swedish talk is somewhat spoilt by a recurring noise, that could either be someone drilling through an adjoining wall, or someone with a terrible snore who has been lulled to sleep by Mr Giangrande’s soothing tones:

… and here is the talk he gave in Switzerland …

Here is the June roundup direct from Transition US.  Chris Chaney ponders how bicycling fits into the overall picture of permaculture and the Transition movement in this Colorado Transition blog piece.   Hastings-on-Hudson (NY) becomes the 116th Transition Town in the US.   T-Montpelier (VT) held their fourth annual Village-building Convergence in Montpelier and Brookfield enjoying a weekend of workshops, skill-shares, discussions, networking and celebration, read more in this article titled Getting to Yes through No.  Here is a great piece about Transition Milwaukee (WI) who live up to their motto “we’re all in this together”.

Transition Milwaukee member Sarah Moore in front of a community garden.

Here is a rather lovely short film from Rhinbeck, New York, which features Evan Kreeger asking if anyone else in his community would like to come along and meet up to see if they fancy starting a Transition group.  Evan, if you read this, let us know if anyone turned up!  It’s tonight folks, if you live anywhere near Rhinbeck.  If I could get there I’d go … :

Finally, here are a few general stories.  An Al Jazeera feature asks the question Are we sustainable? of Richard Heinberg and Transition Network’s Rob Hopkins.   Energy Bulletin recently featured a piece entitled Transition & Solutions.   Permaculture College Australia gives an overview of Transition in this write up by Tommy Welham.   In this (long) article on Tagorean World (site dedicated to Indian philosopher Rabindranath Tagore) Christine Marsh explores The Once and Future Village: From Tagore’s Rural Reconstruction to Transition Towns.

That’s it for this month.  If you have any stories you would like included, please send them in.  Every time we finish editing one of these we need to go and lie down to recover from all the excitement of so many amazing stories.  Hearty pats on the back all round…