Tag Archives: resilience

Spreading the word – media training for London Transition Initiatives

A DVD of In Transition 2.0, the latest film to describe what’s up around the world of transition, recently dropped through my letterbox. What a great piece of work. It recounts what people are doing to try to meet the twin challenge of climate change and peak oil, working from within their communities.

One of the things I liked most, in addition to all the inspiring stories, was the promotional schematic on the back of the box. Sixteen stories, 7 countries and no flights taken – what a great way to make a documentary. Wisdom from far-off parts of the world came alive in my living room thanks to the wonders of modern communications technologies. That no flights were taken was the 17th inspiring story as far as I was concerned.

My response to all that is to do more reporting on those sorts of stories myself and to help teach others to do the same. That’s the idea behind plans for a video training weekend, or weekends, for Transition Initiatives in or around London. You can read more about it here in a blog post here.

If the idea of video training is for you, register your interest and possibie availabilities in a comment below or email me via patrickchalmers [at] orange.fr

That way maybe your work and your stories can feature in the next transition film.

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Filed under democracy, journalism, video activism

Marrying revolution and transition – can it be done?

These are two apparently very different films that I see as being totally on the same page.

The first How to start a Revolution, is already out, garnering jury prizes at film festivals around the world. I haven’t seen it yet but I love the book on which it’s based, From Dictatorship to Democracy. It lays out a radical, non-violent message of change.

The second film, In Transition 2.0, wears its politics less obviously but ultimately raises the same questions of power. Its focus is on peak oil, climate change and community resilience in the face of both. I haven’ t seen the second film either though I did see In Transition 1.0 and I know the work of the Transition Network. Its message, too, is one of radical, non-violent change.

The challenge is how to marry the thinking and actions of the films’ constituencies to address a problem that is common to both – namely the poor quality of Western representative democracies and their effective capture by global corporations and banks.  The revolutionaries and transitioners would do well to work together or rather it would be in their mutual interests to do so.

I count myself as being in both camps.

My approach is to do and to nurture local, citizen journalism focused on the transparency and accountability of government. We need to learn how to do it ourselves and to teach it to others who want to learn. Having built such journalism up locally, practitioners can soon stretch out to focus on political accountability and governance at higher levels, linking up with other reporters doing the same. The result would be a reporting network focused on improving the quality of our governance, locally to globally.

That way, we might have a chance of bringing about the sort of radical political changes that both these films talk about.

I’d better watch them then.

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Filed under democracy, journalism