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These notes form a part of x-med-k. Media Ecologies workshop

Produced by the community solution organization, the film explores the peak oil crisis with focus on community based solutions that reflect the values of cooperation, conservation and curtailment. The film captures the free fall of Cuba's economy in early 90's with the fall of the Soviet Union and its brilliant turnaround using drastic measures to become self reliant. It demonstrates the role of community in dealing with acute challenges. Every aspect of cuban life was affected by the 'special period', but no change was as far reaching as agriculture. Cuba was forced to switch to survival agriculture from the green revolution practices it was accustomed to. A drastic effort to convert every piece of arable land to organic agriculture was begin. An urban agriculture movement resulted where every vacant lot in the city was converted into an orchard. Under urban gardening, idle plots of land were identified, cleaned and turned into gardens by the community. The people cooperating and caring about each other were the main factors for the turnaround. With sustainable practices Cuba found that it took 3 to 5 years to rehabilitate the soil again. To increase food production the government worked with farmers to find local solutions. The result was smaller farms and cooperatives with a high degree of privatization and autonomy. These were able to use sustainable practices in a much more efficient manner and created new ways of decentralized growth under a larger umbrella. With a more stable method of land distribution and ownership, thousands moved to rural areas. The impact was also felt in the education, housing, transportation and energy alternatives realms resulting in improvised solutions from the people and the government which has not only created a unique model for all of us but also reinstilled faith in the power of simple steps taken at a community level.

CUBA: peak oil crisis: cooperation, conservation, curtailment questions about organization structure: small clusters vs larger systems effective response in a drastic situation: How do we creatively use and respond to change! What are the questions we as a society can ask ourselves ? What would be the most effective sustainable practice in a different situation ?

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  • Last modified: 2008-04-27 21:04
  • by sanjeev