Posted by: Mike Grenville | 10 April 2009

From North To South Europe

Transition initiatives are spreading down through Europe to countries such as Sweden, Ireland, Italy, France and Spain with a growing body of translated materials.

A ning based website is bringing together Transitioners in Sweden and there a new ning based site for sharing among all of the Transition Towns initiatives in Ireland. Launched just last week and it is already a repository for events, blog posts, a forum and groups such as “Powerdown Trainers”.

In the French speaking world, is linking groups in Belgium, Canada and France. The website includes a collection of resources in French including the Transition Primer.

The new release of the film Crude Impact includes subtitles in both French and Spanish.

There are a number of groups around Spain. In February I met up with some of those involved in Transition Barcelona and visited some community gardens. Duncan has written up some of the conversations that we had here.
Community garden in Barcelona
So far the movement in Barcelona is very much in the English speaking community, but work has been started to translate both texts and videos into Spanish. The term “transition” is a very loaded term in Barcelona, as it was the term used when fascism ended and democracy came into being after the death of Franco in 1975.

Barcelona has an interesting city layout with a well established Barrio structure, each district still with their communal heart and central food market. The participative role the community plays in their barrio is most identifiable when they have their barrio festivals, not only the celebration on the streets, but also the creation of floats, street art, music etc… everyone participates, the grannies and 4 year old kids can still be seen dancing in the streets in the wee hours…. The idea that is already so strong in Barcelona is the idea of “partying to change things”. Rather than the doom and gloom, festivals and positive events play an important part.

One of the members of Transition Italia’s steering group lives in L’Aquila and are coping with the earthquake which left over 50,000 people homeless. Ideas on how Transition initiatves can respond are being shared here and how to turn the disaster into opportunity.

A list of translated Transition materials is here


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