From our Roving Reporter, Henry Owen: So on Saturday I was lucky enough to visit Le Pré-Saint-Gervais en Transition‘s ‘Disco Soupe’ event! This municipality – one of the poorer districts around Paris, just outside the ring road to the North East – has a population of about 15,000 and a transition group about 2 years old. The event was just inside the atrium of the local market building, and beside the soup stand (a rather nice cart the group had made, see below) and the brilliant band, there was a jumble sale and someone fixing up bikes. They put on the event with the support of the local municipality, which they apparently have a growing collaboration with.
Having been involved with a couple of Disco Soup events in Oxford, it was fantastic to see the event in a different context – and to see a wide variety of people getting involved, including the local police!
Unlike in Oxford, they had their own personalised soup mugs which I rather envied – seen here in front of the band.
It was the perfect antidote to the rather heavy atmosphere in Paris at the moment, with the ‘state of emergency’ in full swing and the police cracking down on climate activism. I think this brief video clip captures some of the energy of the event!
Saturday evening brought another great event, with Transition France hosting a launch event for the 21 Stories of Transition that have been collected by Transition Network as an offering to the COP21 process. Even having read the stories before, the event was a great source positive energy – and it was particularly brilliant to hear some people involved with the projects directly speaking about them, and to discuss with people what the common threads running through the stories were.
In other soupy news, I came across some of the largest soup making equipment I’ve ever seen at a community kitchen at an artivist space in Paris – check it out!!! Yes that’s a custom built giant hob.