The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil will be shown at the Labia on Orange cinema in Cape Town on Sunday 3 June at 6.15pm, on Monday 4 June at 8:30pm and on Tuesday 5 June at 8:30pm.


The film documents Cuba’s emergency transition to local organic agriculture, renewable energy, and large-scale mass transit. The transition occurred following the Soviet collapse in 1990, when their massive subsidies of imported oil and food to Cuba were halted.


In The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil, ordinary Cubans talk about the immediate hardships they faced. Their GDP dropped by more than one third, transportation nearly stopped and food became scarce – the average Cuban lost 20 pounds during the first years of this economic crisis.


The documentary visits urban gardens and organic farms, explains the relationship between food and fossil fuels, and shows how a society can change from an industrialized, global focus to a local, community-based one. It provides us with a rare view into this island’s culture, using firsthand reporting that focuses on what Cubans have learned about adapting to living with less.


Cuba’s experience represents a living model for how the rest of the world can respond to the coming peak in global oil production that some experts say will occur this decade. “Everyone who is concerned about Peak Oil needs to see this film,” said Richard Heinberg, author of The Party’s Over and Powerdown. “It is a story not just of individual achievement, but of the collective mobilization of an entire society to meet an enormous challenge.”


The Community Solution, executive producer of the film, is a non-profit organization in Yellow Springs, Ohio dedicated to seeking viable, low-energy options to the coming Peak Oil crisis. It hosts the annual “U.S. Conference on Peak Oil and Community Solutions,” and offers other programs to increase public awareness about peak oil.


The screenings on June 3, 4 and 5 will be followed by a facilitated audience discussion. Tickets are R20 and can be reserved by calling The Labia at (021) 424 5927. Reserving tickets is strongly recommended to avoid disappointment.


This event is presented by The Labia and While You Were Sleeping, a Cape Town-based non-profit film collective committed to bringing progressive, non-mainstream documentaries with important social and environmental messages to South African audiences.



The Labia: (021) 424 5927

While You Were Sleeping:
Andreas Späth

084 772 1056


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