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FOOD MATTERS: A monthly film and discussion series

Hosted by: Prospect Farm and the Brooklyn Commune 

The Power Of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil 


Tom Angotti, Professor of Urban Studies, CUNY; Founder, Prospect Farm

Kady Ferguson, Executive Director, Brooklyn Food Coalition

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba's economy went into a tailspin. With imports of oil cut by more than half – and food by 80 percent – people were desperate. This film tells of the hardships and struggles as well as the community and creativity of the Cuban people during this difficult time. Cubans share how they transitioned from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens. It is an unusual look into the Cuban culture during this economic crisis, which they call "The Special Period." The film opens with a short history of Peak Oil, a term for the time in our history when world oil production will reach its all-time peak and begin to decline forever. Cuba, the only country that has faced such a crisis – the massive reduction of fossil fuels – is an example of options and hope. 

[The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil is a project of the Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions, a non-profit organization that designs and teaches low-energy solutions to the current unsustainable, fossil fuel based, industrialized, and centralized way of living. Visit for more information.]

This is a free event. All are welcome.

Join or login to comment.

  • Ann

    Couldn't make it, but I have this movie on my list of "must sees".

    January 23, 2014

  • Helen

    Wonderful group. Would love to visit Prospect Farm also. Post Sandy gave us a taste of life with fossil fuel scarcity. Let's become as prepared as we can even if the rest of the City lags behind.

    January 22, 2014

  • cheryl b.

    This film was very informative and I'm excited about future films in this series!

    January 22, 2014

  • Greg T.

    Wish I could make it but the Brooklyn Alliance of Composters and Carters is meeting at the same time. I'll be co-hosting a talk about my recent trip to Cuba on March 12th at the Brooklyn Launchpad. Miss y'all.

    1 · January 19, 2014

    • cheryl b.

      Hi Greg, will you post or send me a link for your talk? Thanks!

      January 19, 2014

  • Tiffany

    This is a great movie! I'm sure you will all have a very enlightening discussion. :)

    January 19, 2014

  • Jay S.

    This Food Matters Film and Discussion Series is intended to introduce ideas about the intersection of growing food and energy as a predicate for considering urban agricultural alternatives. The Power of Community documents the experience of Cuba which experienced deep curtailments to their oil imports that severely impacted their industrial agriculture, and required radical transformation of their food production which included permaculture and urban agriculture adaptations. It's our future.

    January 9, 2014

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