It is an immense pleasure to be with you tonight to celebrate the third edition of the Idea Camp. In the last four years, the hubs in the Connected Action for the Commons network have been working hard with ECF to build the foundations on which we are standing today. We joined our resources and creativity to foster cultural practices that offer alternatives to oppressive models of economy and governance. Practices that help translating common sense into sustainable inclusive policies. One of the outcomes of this work is a joint statement that urges European decision-makers to embed culture in their policy deliberations. The statement is included in your bags and I can but only recommend you to read it. Together with the hubs –and maybe this has been a landmark in what has become over the years a fellowship–, we also co-design the Idea Camp. Our ambition: to support those of us who stand for a just society.
Tomorrow the third edition of the Idea Camp will start: it will be an intense collective journey. We wish that you make the best out of it, and of your stay in Madrid. We hope that we all go back home fuelled with new ideas, different perspectives, and that over the days, we acknowledge each other as collaborators, inspiring and challenging one another to nurture and continue our work.
Since our call was launched last year, many events took place that are affecting the world we are living in. We have witnessed political processes that have left us speechless, with a feeling of homelessness, as if deprived of agency. The dogma of “dividing and ruling” is an exhausted imperialist trick, yet it seems back on the rhetoric of some politicians propelling politics of fear. As you know, elections are coming in Europe this year. Reactionary voices are trying to impose an agenda that is not only threatening the democratic project, but the very achievements of decades of social and civic movements fostering progressive policies. We could be losing so much, therefore I urge you to vote, to tell your story, to raise your voice. As poet Dylan Thomas wrote: “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” With your ideas, your commitment, you are clearing another path: a path that from Porto Alegre to Rojava, many have chosen to follow, allowing us to imagine possible futures.
I spent the last months trying to understand what does it mean, a community? And I came to the conclusion that a community might simply mean: living together, respecting each other and our movements from one place to another, from one experience to another. I am aware that this is probably the greatest challenge that we all face. Yet, I am confident that, thanks to your ideas and your work, we can open up possibilities: We will do this together, learning from each other.
As I said, tonight is a celebration: not only of the third Idea Camp, but most importantly, of our common effort in bringing upon a brighter future.