Slow Food and Terra Madre Evolving into a Global Political Subject
Conference on the right to food confirms the movement’s future political role
Without ever renouncing the importance of the right to pleasure connected to food, Slow Food has transformed itself into a political subject, just like the Terra Madre food communities, which are characterized by an emotional intelligence and are able to assert their rights thanks to the network that unites them.
This concept was one of the key themes of the first days of the Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre, currently on-going in Turin until October 29, and nowhere was it more clearly expressed than in the conference Enforcing the Right to Food: How? Slow Food president Carlo Petrini and Father Alex Zanotelli, formerly a missionary in the slums of Kenya who now works in some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Naples, were discussing the issue, along with a panel of experts from academia and development.
Speaking with great emotion, Father Zanotelli affirmed the political importance of Terra Madre. “We can no longer expect anything from above. Now it’s down to us,” he said, indicating the packed room in front of him. “The economy of equality and the fair distribution of goods are values common to both the Judaic and Christian religions, and the fact that only now we are talking about the right to food is scandalous. Politics has failed because it is at the mercy of the economic rules, the multinationals. In the war against the poor, the financial world has won.”
His anger was evident as he stated: “Poverty is created, hunger is wanted. People don’t die from hunger, they are being killed. Think about how much money is spent on weapons: 1,740 billion dollars around the world, 26 billion in Italy alone, and to protect what? The current living system.”
The current system, which he compared to the Camorra in Naples, is also what allows the practice of land grabbing, especially in Africa, with foreign governments and multinationals buying up large tracts of land to produce biofuels and foods destined for export. For Zanotelli, politics is fundamental: If Slow Food and Terra Madre can really manage to unite many different subjects, all sharing a common vision, then all together they can push for change, functioning as a kind of virtuous lobby.
Er was ook tijd voor gezamenlijke uiting van plezier. Slow Food oprichter Carlo Petrini betoont zich in onderstaand filmpje temidden van de Youth Food Movement een enthousiast en lichtvoetig danser. Zo te zien heeft Slow Food de jeugd en dus de toekomst voor zich.
En voor wie bekend is met de rol van riten in maatschappijvorming: kerk, disco (dans) en politiek zijn een klassieke combinatie om mensen samen te brengen.
Fotocredits: SdGTM_VisualOrizz_Logos, Salone del Gusto Terra Madre
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