Backpack Cinema, Malawi
In 2013 Electric Pedals developed a pedal-powered cinema backpack kit, which in collaboration with UK charity Purple Field Productions (PFP) and their partner Temwa, we used to show educational films in remote areas of Malawi. PFP makes educational and humanitarian films for, and with, people across the world in their local languages. However, screening these films can be problematic in remote areas which have no electricity or even the fuel to power a generator. Electric Pedals therefore pioneered a portable answer. Backpack Cinema uses human energy to generate the electricity needed to project a film. The entire kit, including the projector, fits into a rucksack and can easily be carried across rivers and through dense undergrowth to be set up on site in minutes. Through constant but relaxed pedalling a full length film can be projected for the whole community to enjoy.
PFP showed the film ULIMI MCHUMA CHATHU (Farming Our Wealth), an agricultural film made with and for Malawian farmers which demonstrated new techniques for combating the effects of increasing droughts brought about by climate change. It featured local farmers demonstrating effective ways of improving productivity and sustainability, thereby improving the quality of life in the poorest rural communities. Backpack Cinema brings the outside world to some of the most far-removed places, igniting ideas and stirring debate through the luxury of film.
Electric Pedals now has 16 Backpack Cinemas around the world.