Film about innovative community solutions to the coming oil crisis, gets the energies flowing.
“The Power Of Community – How Cuba Survived Peak Oil” is brand new documentary about what our future could look like. First show publicly in Ireland in conjunction with LASC at the Convergence Festival Dublin on April 22nd, it got it’s second showing in Ireland just a few hours ago in McCarthy’s Bar Dingle, County Kerry, as part of events there for Latin America Week 2006.
Carol Fennessy introduced Latin America Week, and spoke about the 2 speakers Tanya Quiroz & Riccardo Buitron from Bolivia & Ecuador visiting Ireland this week to talk about the privatisation of water and natural resources in their countries.
I introduced the documentary, in the context of increasing discussion about Peak Oil. There have been a number of programmes & debates about it on Irish TV & Radio over the last while.
“The Power Of Community – How Cuba Survived Peak Oil” looks at Cuba as an example of a country which has already had to go through an artificial ‘peak oil type’ scenario. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, almost overnight Cuba’s oil supplies dropped form 30 million tonnes to just 4 million tonnes.
Over the next 10 years, Cuba was forced to ADAPT to this change. This documentary in particular focuses on the changes in Cuban food production, which is one of the main users of oil supplies. Community and urban ORGANIC gardens were developed. First as a knee jerk response, then in a more organized. Now today, 50% of Havana’s food comes from garderns and allotments in and around the city.
We watched the programme. We didn't get up, and make any speech after it ended, as often happens at such events, which kills any REAL REACTION people might be experiencing…we just let the credits roll, lowered the sound....and then a conversation developed among the 25 or so people in the room.
The conversation ranged from peak oil to politics, to local gardening to food supply and more. Here we had ordinary people together, with no party political or other agendas, discussing together. It really felt like an event. Some one made the point that it was great that the documentary was 'solutions-oriented'. It wasn't just "everything is going to collapse"....So people began to talk about solutions, here in our own community.
Many things were discussed, but one concrete decision that was made was to meet this Saturday at the traditional local market site.........you see many towns in Ireland have traditional market rights. Many of these markets have been unused for years, and under recent laws these market rights will now become extinct if not asserted. The deadline for Dingle is this Saturday. So we decided to meet together, sell some items and take pictures to prove & guarantee the right to this local market, at least for another 10 years anyway.
After viewing the documentary, many people wanted to get a copy, and suggested showing it again, showing it in schools. The woman who owns the local Health food shop suggested that she could loan it out at a small fee which she could return to your organisation.
So, tonight I have written to the makers of this film to ask them about showing this film to others, privately, publicly and in schools. I am awaiting a reply.
Thank again to Community Solutions for allowing us to screen this important work. Congratulations. It really got people thinking and talking.
Thanks to Pauline for the use of the Back Bar and Paudie Feirteir for the loan of the projector.
From the westernmost town in Europe, slan agus beannacht.