Urban Transition: Interview with Angela Raffle of Transition Bristol
By Ed Mitchell 30th April 2010
Christopher Fraser of London Transition interviewed Angela Raffle of Transition Bristol in early 2010 – it’s an interesting and thoughtful interview on a range of ideas that cities experience. Here’s a little bit – you can read the full transcript on the London Transition site:
CF: One of the criticisms of modern life is the extent to which social bonds are dissolved, and Transition maybe gives people this another space where they can seek out other bonds of shared cause. Is this part of what you see hapening in groups like Sustainable Redland?
That has been one of the positive things about Sustainable Redland that a lot of people have said they’ve got to know a lot more of their neighbours. My perception, and I haven’t looked at the research, all this cheap oil has enabled us to do is to have our social bonds scattered across the globe.
My concept of the human is very much that each of us is like a node in a web, so there are people who I never see, but if they died I would physically and emotionally feel massively different. And I think that’s all hard wired in us. For most of human evolution, that web of human attachments that made up each person was physically close to you, but now because we zoom all around the place and phone up people in Australia and we keep up with our University friends even though they’re scattered across the UK, we don’t need more attachments with our neighbours, because our neighbours are often grumpy gits or snobs or whatever.
And I feel that when cheap energy becomes less available, or even when our backs are up against the wall or we have food shortages, we’ll actually need our neibours like people do in times of flood. I mean it happened to us when we lived in a little terrace in Birmingham and the whole terrace was having it’s roof done and we had the whole terrace covered in polythene and we had the most terrible rains storm and there we all were running around in the dark and the rain, in our nighties, and suddenly they weren’t just your neighbours, they were your best friends, even though you’d never even said hello to them before.
And I think we will do that very quickly. I mean we’re trying to do that with our street, which is big Victorian houses where people don’t have to rub shoulders with each other, we’re having a street party in the summer as a prerequisite to getting more people involved.
Good work all! Keep it coming!
Don’t forget you can read the full transcript on the London Transition site