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OltrEconomia Festival 2019 - Lands of disobedience (Part I)

OltrEconomia Festival official

Groups of people that wanted to show alternative to omnipresent injustice of existing economic system, gathered in Parco Santa Chiara, Trento Italy, from 29th of May to 2nd of June 2019. Festival “Beyond Economy” was organized for the 6th time as a parallel to the festival of Economia, that took place in the same town. It was an extremely joyous occasion filled with activists and enthusiasts that offered their free time to show what they believe in.

Do you want a glass of water ?

Based on the idea communicated by Stefano Bueggi1, one of the organizers, the festival started to provide a possibility for everyday people to talk about alternative ways of economy and the other way of life. It provides a platform for grass root movements and activists that didn’t find a place in the main “Economic festival”. The idea is to shine the light on economy that already exists, but is ostracized by big players that would lose their place in the playing field if the alternative would be mainstream. There were talks about circular, sustainable economy and a concept of common goods that are managed by the community that uses them. The main issue in Italy at the moment is the fact that water is privatized to the extend that if you do not pay the taxes it can be completely cut out from the building you are living in. A referendum was organized and won, but the government didn’t take the necessary measures to change the situation. This is why people need tools to make their voices heard and complied with.

Ask the farmers

20 years ago non-global movement pointed out that the way big corporations manage global market will lead to the market we have today. Nowadays, alternative economy proposes sustainable and local production, direct and little production of goods, better working conditions, alternative currencies and such. The point is to bring experts and participants to share the knowledge and experience, in order to come up with local solutions that can spread around the world. We can learn from experiences of South Americans as well as Europeans when it comes to farming. In the end, it is globally known that the farmers would like to have control over production process from their crops to our tables. As little intermediaries and possible. This is what keeps the quality of our food and gives the resources to the people producing it.

Someone said discount?

This year OltrEconomia Festival (OEF) had its own digital currency, called Oltrino. It was developed in collaboration with the Commonfare project and Social Wallet API made by Dyne.org. Oltrino was supported by the same software as Common coin on Commonfare platform. Festival goers could pay for their environmentally aware food and drinks with the fashionable card/QR code that in some cases meant discount for the same products payed in euros. All you had to do was to go to the Commonfare tent, buy Oltrino and then head out to the cassa to buy the desired product. To show his community based background, Oltrino was given as a remuneration to the logo designer of the festival, because he refused to be paid. In that way he could spend his digital money on the festival and contribute to the circular economy system.

No politics please

Participants and sellers for the festival have been chosen through a process of open assembly where they welcomed producers. The simple rule is: Anti-fascism, anti-homophobia, anti-racism and no political party is accepted. The vast majority of the work on the festival is based on voluntarism. People work on voluntary basis for an idea. Activism, not exploitation is on the agenda. It is a case of positive volunteering not the forced kind where mostly young people are obliged to offer their time for free in order to gather experience to put in their CVs. Volunteering for an idea, not income makes you an activist and not a slave. In relation to that is the idea represented at the festival called basic income: Everyone should have enough money to live and do what they want in their free time to contribute to society. 

1 Translation by Tommaso Gandini.

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2 Reacties

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juni 05, 2019 at 21:38

Thank you Elena for the vivid description — this is commonfare to me

Card sfondo logo paddy nero


juni 06, 2019 at 14:47

"Volunteering for an idea... makes you an activist and not a slave" - nice! It makes you free to contribute to the society you want.