Eight geotag journalists exploring your city. This week: Creative London.

Magnificent Revolution

By Valeria Testagrossa

Be the change you want to see. This is the motto of an innovative group of creative individuals who in their bid to spread awareness about conserving energy and promoting art have spun a revolution they call the Magnificent Revolution (MR).

MR is a non-profit education project based in London. It is a cross disciplinary organisation working in education, ecology, engineering and arts comprising of artists, musicians, designers, ecologists, and engineers.

Generating power using bicycle powered equipments over the last four years they have organised around 200 events including cinema, music, art and graphics.

“The project is about collaboration,” says Adam Walker, co-director of the company. He continues: “The idea is to put together series of like-minded organizations working towards a sustainable future.”

The ambitious project started in 2007. Adam and Barbara, the two directors, and a few friends collaborated when they were commissioned by the Big Chill festival to put together their first bicycle generator.

Making of MR

Since then the group has learnt different ways to optimize the cycling mechanism. They decided to make their passion work and MR came into being.

“The festival was amazing and we thought this could become our project,” Adam recalls the first experience.

They started building up a bigger project comprehending different fields including education.

“People create their own energy for consumption from nothing. Also there is a great sense of community building that brings people together,” says Adam.

Learning to conserve

MR organizes workshop with school children and adults, where they show people how to produce electricity simply by cycling. They show how it takes three kids to power one traditional light bulb.

“Visualization is very important,” says Adam. He adds: “After this every time they will light a kettle they will imagine sixteen people cycling to power it.”

“The solution to climate change or sustainability will always be multidisciplinary. It’s about being creative,” explains Adam. Multidisciplinary approach

Next in line are series of concerts the first of which in Bethnal Green, at a small art space called The Arch. The focus will be on London Bands and MR plans to bring bands that live in local areas to perform.

“It’s nice to see bands playing in their community settings and not being forced to go outside the city or the country to play,” opines Adam.

Art forms a part of their milieu. One such event called Pedal Powered Home consisted in having various house objects turned into the bicycle powered version of themselves and were exhibited in a warehouse.

Going overseas

Having been to Greece for Tessaloniki film festival and organizing a pedal powered live radio show in Paris, MR are off to Sweden in May for an event called Global Warning addressing the question what is your message for the future? Bicycle powered sound units, installed in various locations, will have the answers of the interviewees playing across the city.

There is also the idea of setting up a twin Magnificent Revolution in Australia. Way ahead

Challenge now lies in generating funds to sustain the revolution. “With cuts ahead there isn’t going to be much funding,” says Adam. For rising funds and create more events MR have thought of Buzz Bank crowd funding.

The idea is that the public can log on to the website and pledge anything for as much as they like, from five to 1000 pounds and they get rewards for doing so. Kick starter have begun this in the States, but they would be the pioneer in the UK.

“Everybody contributing their little bit making it happen is amazing. Everyone has ownership on the events. It is real collaboration,” ends Adam on a positive note.
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