Come and join Artmongers and Bold Vision at the Hill Station (SE14 5TY) 7-9pm on Jun 25th to discuss our next two projects – the Refugee Experience Evening and Refugee Radio. More info available on request (firstname.lastname@example.org). Lots of opportunities to get involved and make an enjoyable contribution to these ideas.
We are gathering people who can help with
Recording / producing
Is it you? Join the conversation, help shape these projects Jun 25th 7-9pm
Electric Pedals is about communication. It’s about connecting people together, whether through outdoor entertainment or classroom education, the focus is on community. Electric Pedals’ on-going collaboration with organisations such as the Free Film Festival (www.freefilmfestivals.org) has enabled people to join together to watch, enjoy and power their cinema experience by becoming the batteries that generate the electricity to run their entertainment – bicycle-powered cinema.
Electric Pedals (www.electricpedals.com) was founded by Colin Tonks over seven years ago as a way of harnessing human power to generate energy from cycling. Since then, the possibilities of where bicycle power can lead us have radically grown and Electric Pedals has become the forefront of bicycle power innovation.
As Jacqui Shimidzu, Community Volunteer and Founder of NXDFFF explains, ‘we could have just had a generator powering this outdoor performance, but Electric Pedals brings added value. People don’t quite believe that cinema can be completely powered by themselves; it’s a spectacle.’ Dynamic and communal, active participation transforms cinema into an curious and unpredictable performance where escapism becomes a team-effort – a shared experience – rather than the solitariness of a dark auditorium.
Relying solely on constant, real-time pedal power throughout the screening means that when the human batteries stop pedalling, the films stop reeling. But all it takes is the audience’s encouragement and some cheers of appreciation for the cyclists, to bring the screen and sound back into action.
This series of photographs by Tonks, documents the spirit of Electric Pedals and the energy of the people it has gathered. A world away from their home in South East London, Electric Pedals has travelled to Africa, South America and all over Europe using bicycle-powered cinema to bring communities together in just the same way.
Film brings every community together to have fun and be inspired. Whether here in the UK or in the depths of rural Africa, where technology is minimal, Electric Pedals is pedalling the dynamic future of community cinema and beyond.
Some other screenings by Electric Pedals:
Partner: Nunhead and Peckham Free Film Festival
Screening Date: 7th September 2013
Film: Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Horniman Museum and Gardens
Partner: Mash Cinema
Screening Date: 21st August 2014
Film: The Journeys of George Méliès (1902)
Partner: Efecto Cine
Screening Date: 6th December 2014
Film: Aftershock (2012)
Partner: Newcross and Deptford Free Film Festival
Screening Date: 2nd May 2015
Film: Wizard of Oz (1939)
Kabami Primary School, Kisoro, Uganda
Partner: Great Ape Film Initiative (GAFI)
Screening Date: 8th December 2010
Film: BBC Cousins, Apes (2000)
Back in 2009, in association with The Great Apes Film Initiative (www.gafi4apes.org), Tonks engineered a basic pedal-powered cinema for a hilltop village on the edge of Mgahinga National Park, Uganda. Consisting of just two mountain bikes that wheeled into bicycle generators and powered a projector and guitar amp sound system. This conservation project needed to bring greater awareness to the local communities of the endangered mountain gorillas that lived alongside them. Through Electric Pedals’ sustainable, lightweight and eco-friendly innovation, even the most remote villages could be educated and entertained through film. Isolated from mainstream communication, the bikes brought knowledge to them and for most, bicycle-powered cinema was their first experience of film.
Partners: Purple Field Productions / TEMWA
Screening Date: 6th June 2013
Film: Trees and Stoves, Farming Our Wealth (2012)
Electric Pedals developed a pedal-powered cinema backpack kit trialled in Malawi. Malawi is 80% rural, and so while film is recognised as a powerful social tool, it is only applicable if it can reach (be carried to) the inaccessible communities. Being able to cross rivers and walk long distances through dense undergrowth, Electric Pedals provided a portable answer with their 20kg backpack cinema. Simple, the effect cannot be understated. The backpack kit brought the outside world to some of the most far-removed places, installing aspirations, stirring debates and igniting ideas through the luxury of film.
First Artmongers made them in the Syrian refugee camp and now we are making them here as part of the Bold Vision Refugee Twinning project. These are free events.
Show your support for the refugees and make a little peace right here. Maybe you will give your Peace Rock to a friend you fell out with. Maybe a neighbour you haven’t said hello to yet. Or someone who is new to your street.
Artmongers are running workshops all over the place for the next week with the help of Bold Vision. Come along and share the joy. It only takes a few minutes. We want to see Peace Rocks strewn all over the Hill and New Cross.
Wear old clothes. Bring along a small rock from your garden or your bathroom shelf. Rocks also provided for the hard up.
Maybe you have a few old pots of half used paint (preferably gloss paint) that you know you will probably never use. Why not bring those along too and share your colours.
Workshops will take place at the following Bold Vision venues:
Common Growth Garden: Sun Feb 28, 1-3pm
Hill Station Cafe: Tue Mar 1, 3-5pm
New Cross Learning: Thu Mar 3, 4-5pm
John Stainer School (tbc)
Let us know if you would like to run a workshop at your place of worship, club or neighbourhood.
Last time we met we discussed several great projects. See the post of that meeting for more info.
Now I am about to revisit the camp in order to:
Gather follow up evaluation data based on the 5 factors of well-being used in New Cross Connected Communities research so that I can write up the work and we can seek further funding
Get permissions from those people in the video so we can use it more widely
Progress the first two of the projects below that we feel is most ready for implementation
I really hope you can come along and share ideas, contribute new thoughts, bring this alive!
Bilingual Youth: Bring together young people in London learning Arabic and young people in the camp who want to learn English. Involve library donations and understanding of Arabic literature. Leader: Soile
Knitting / Craft circles: create easy entry, safe neighbourhood eg per block where women can gather in each others houses on a rotation basis to spend an hour doing craftwork together. Leader: Kitty
Music with children: create a combined choir sharing songs between Edmund Waller and school in the camp. To sing together via live streaming and to send recordings of each other singing each other’s songs. Leader: Byron?
‘Barn-raising’: create action focus for men to come together and redress their sense of powerlessness to protect and provide for their families. Eg build a children’s playground together, build a shaded seating area by water tap. Leader: tbc but Anshu will kick off
Peace Rocks: have peace rock dipping events during Feb for display during festival. Leader: Catherine
Back by popular demand! Join is at the Hill Station for an amazing evening with Project 12 and some great Indian food. Bar. Raffle. Tickets here. Proceeds towards sorting out the folding doors at the Hill Station.