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The Tamera Peace Research Centre
by Alexandra Pereira
2008-03-13 09:12:59
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On Peace, Human Ecology, Alternative Energies, the Solar Power Village and the idea of the Global Campus

“Think Local, Act Global”

a_400Founded in 1995 by the psychoanalyst, writer and artist Dieter Duhm, the theologian and peace activist (a nominee for “1000 women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005”) Sabine Lichtenfels and the physicist and musician Charly Rainer Ehrenpreis, the Tamera Peace Research Centre in “Monte Cerro” homestead, Colos – Alentejo Region (South of Portugal) hosts nowadays approximately 150 people who live, work and study in this site for international training and experimental development of Peace Research Villages and Healing Biotopes worldwide. Besides residents, dozens of visitors (including children) want to see Tamera with their own eyes every year. And try to learn with it.

Why is Tamera so Special?

b_400For five years now, a team of the Peace Research Centre of Tamera, Portugal, has been working with Jürgen Kleinwächter, physicist and inventor, and his company Sunvention of Löerrach, Germany. The Solar Village is a model for sustainability and decentralized energy, a social and environmental peace village which can be built with almost no dependency on big industry. The solar cooking and growing of food supplies in harmony with nature, the energy storage with hot oil, the electricity production with a low-temperature Stirling engine and the water pumping with SUNpulse – a Stirling machine developed by Kleinwächter and his team – are among the modules of this technical system, all put together into operation for the first time on May 2007.

The common project of Culture and Peace Biotope Tamera and researchers of Sunvention emphasizes that alternative energies (e.g. the solar one) and technologies produced locally enable self-supply with food and energy. The model of The Solar Village is considered as a clear and positive sign for the stepping-out of the systems of centralization and globalisation by means of building up new decentralized living models, and bringing interesting, stable and satisfying new perspectives, especially for the youth in rural areas. Tamera intends to show that local action, through the use of sustainable new social, environmental and energetic models, can help prevent the looming global climatic catastrophe.

aa_400For the inauguration of the “Envelope” (name of the energy greenhouse) on May last year, Kleinwächter (Sunvention), members of Sunvention USA, the founders of Tamera and the team of the Solar Power Village in Tamera came together to have dinner: cooked with the solar cooker. They tasted really hot and delicious soup (in spite of the rainy weather), there was plenty of energy for other recipes as well, and in the end they used the heat of the same hot oil storage which had delivered the heat for cooking for the SUNpulse Stirling engine to produce electricity.

“Be the change that you want to see in the world”

aaaThe energy greenhouse is planned to accommodate 50 inhabitants alone, and there vegetables and other agricultural crop can grow under ideal light and temperature conditions and minimum usage of water. The light which plants don’t use to grow is filtered out by low-weight lenses, mounted underneath the envelope of the greenhouse, and that light heats up the vegetable oil which flows in the tubes mounted in the focal lines of the low-weight lenses. The hot oil is forwarded to storage, and from there it can flow at any time (by opening the faucet) to the heat exchangers.

On one hand, these heat exchangers can supply heat for cooking, frying and baking; on the other they can make the Stirling engine work, which supplies electrical and mechanical energy for all the needs of the village. The good news is: the originally complicated general system was simplified by Tamera team and the students of “Monte Cerro”, so it can now be set up with very simple workshop equipment too, as it is commonly found in the Alentejo, one of the least densely populated areas in Europe.

Currently, a Technology Transfer Training Centre (TTT) is developing around the Solar Power Village in Tamera, for the transfer of the developed technology to interested people from other countries and projects. The TTT is considered the technological department of “Global Campus”, a global peace education initiative build up by Tamera in cooperation with its international partners (The Barefoot College, Tilonia/India; The Holy Land Trust Bethlehem/Palestine; The Peace Village San José de Apartadó/Colombia; Chickesaw Indians/USA; and other locations where locally built solar villages are foreseen in coming years).

A Model for Peace, Through Sustainable Energetic Autonomy/Self-Sufficiency

11_400_01Peace villages like Tamera, to be built all over the world, aim to be educational places where peace knowledge on technological, ecological and social issues can be compiled, tested and applied. Indeed, Peace Education is one of the fundamental activities held in Tamera, and here the main goal is to build up a Peace Village University with training and research places worldwide (the so-called “Global Campus”).

After developing its Solarvillage laboratory and building a classroom with capacity for 300 people, Tamera offers now a three-year education program for young peace workers from all over the world under the name “Monte Cerro”. The curriculum focuses on building community structures, the relationship between genders, ecology, solar technology, art and healing, social and spiritual knowledge, and includes the participation in peace actions, compact seminars about the Solarvillage, new sciences, community, peace journalism and more.

111_400Besides the “Monte Cerro” program, Tamera offers multiple separate courses (like the four-week Ecovillage Design Education course –, workshops and events, and it schedules visits to the centre for adults and children, at the same time as it became an attraction for specialists in fundamental areas of knowledge for the building up of a new culture.

Tamera also includes a Youth School, a Place of the Children, a Horse Project, a branch in Meiga Publishing House and a Political Network (which activities take place under the heading “GRACE”, meaning an ethic for peace which is considered to be deeply rooted in the oneness of all beings).

* * * * * * * *

The video on the Solar Power Village and the idea of the Global Campus (by Nigel Dikinson for Tamera) can be seen here:

This is another link, on the Grace Pilgrimage 2007 organized by Tamera Centre, Portugal: www.grace-pilgrimage.com











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Asa2008-03-13 09:41:40
Thanks for sharing this with us. It looks like quite a unique place.

Emanuel Paparella2008-03-13 09:59:29
Interesting, informative and thought-provoking article. Impressive too that slogan: “BE THE CHANGE THAT YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.” A wise moral imperative acknowledging that man is his own history and therefore either he is part of the solution or he becomes part of the problem. Rhetoric will not do. Existentially speaking, for man there is no such thing as the correct, neutral,abstract, “scientifically-objective” position vis a vis his stewardship of the earth. Either he acknowledges it and acts on it, or he becomes integral part of the ecological problem. Impressive too that link between justice and peace. Indeed, as long as we continue being unjust toward the earth, and each other, peace will continue to elude us. Thanks for sharing.

Alexandra Pereira2008-03-16 00:06:30
You're welcome ;) I guess Gandhi slogan spread some seeds, Mr. Paparella. Like portuguese carnations peaceful revolution and the fall of the Berlin wall. After all, human need and strive for peace may be older and wiser than war interests.

Alexandra Pereira2008-03-16 00:24:57
Also some visionary artists/peace activists were spreading seeds (or how Love feelings can do wonders globally):
We really need concrete actions towards the implementation of peace systems. We need them more than ever - we have reached a certain stage, for humankind, when massive change is unavoidable. :) That isn't necessarily bad, on the contrary. We have a great opportunity on our hands. Let's be clever and use it. :)

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