The Winds Of Change

Sticking with the theme of truly inspirational people Barnsdale has asked us to help to plug this book which has just been released in paperback. “The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind” is the true story of William Kamkwamba, a boy from a Malawi village where hunger and drought were a daily reality. Faced with crippling adversity and unable to afford the tuition to pursue his passion for science at school, William took things into his own hands.

Armed with a few books, a library card, an old bike, wood and various scrap materials, William, at just 14, built his own crude wind turbine. An act that would eventually bring electricity and water to William’s village, changing his life and the lives of everyone around him.


Barnsdale have been following William’s story since we first heard about him via the truly bloody brilliant AfriGadget blog, a site which celebrates human ingenuity and shows the true potential of free, open and accessible technology and know-how.

Both William’s story and that of Tony Quan show what is possible when we openly share information. Anyone who truly wants to see change in the world would do well to arm themselves with the knowledge needed to bring about that change without relying on so called ‘experts’ or ‘professionals’. Ideas of freedom are not enough. As Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, the GNU project and the GNU General Purpose License (GPL), says:

If you want to accomplish something in the world, idealism is not enough –you need to choose a method that works to achieve the goal.

Anarchists need to heed these words. There are plenty of projects that anyone, regardless of their present knowledge or talents, can get involved with today. Whether it’s subversive technology, propa-propaganda, environmental projects, underground art, sharing vital knowledge, rabble rousing, etc., etc., etc., there’s something each and every one of us CAN do to make a difference. Whatever it is YOU choose to do the message is the same, if you want a better world you’d better start building it – in other words if you want something doing properly, DO IT YOURSELF

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