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Megapolis 2024

29 September 2009 No Comment

Megapolis is an event conducted by the environmental activism organisation Dodo, in Helsinki. It tok place on 26 September 2009 at the Old Student House, city centre, Helsinki. The series of the talks were pretty eclectic in selection: ranging from researchers,to politicians, to activists. Every year there is a theme and this year the theme was ‘Food’ and its role in creating sustainable communities. Lately, we are all pretty quilty of wasting food and consuming more than we must (one could read obesity here), but we are equally guilty of not knowing where it comes from and how it is made.

The first speaker was a researcher from Bangladesh, Dr.Rahaman. He was armed with statistics and data on the food conditions of Bangladesh, with is focus on Dhaka- a megacity. Bangladesh burdened with natural disasters cannot produce enough rice, staple food, for its own population and does not eat what it grows-tomatoes and mangoes. Though agriculture is the main driver of the economy and it occurs only in rural settings, the migration of people from the villages to the cities (Dhaka) reduces the economic strength of farming. Dr.Rahaman explained that several initiatives are being taken up by the government to alleviate the shortage of food, for egs: growing alternative crops such as potatoes, which has similar calorie content to rice.

There was also an interesting exhibition taking place along side called Post-Oil Cities. It documented the rise and the fall of the use of oil in the world. There was also a sort-of trade fair of eco-activism in some way or the other- organic food, netcycler(like freecycle) etc.etc. There were many others as well but I didn’t stick around to see whats on offer as it was all in Finnish.

I would have loved to attend the remaining talks but unfortunately, they were all in Finnish and there is only so much I can guess on what is being said. I quickly loose interest if I can’t understand what I am reading or what is being said(the curse of being a monoglot).It would have been useful to have translation in multiple languages going on screens to perhaps make the event more inclusive. Well, apart from that, I am looking for a way to be involved.

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