Degrowth, the festival's aim is for supporters of degrowth’s pride to shine. We wish for a different way of life, and many of us are already making such changes. Repeated warnings from the scientific community about the ecological emergency are not enough. While anxiety can be paralyzing, we should be flinging the emergency exit door open. Refusing to the surrender to the overall state of lethargy while acknowledging ongoing collapses, the festival inspires with joy. In the face of the unbearable prospect of no future, joyful alternatives to our current system are already taking shape, alternatives that are fairer, more democratic, more harmonious.
Our optimism is well founded. A proliferation of degrowth initiatives is unfolding. They are first and foremost a way to improve one’s life in the face of an ever-increasing cost of living. Young people are breaking away from our current system. A cultural shift is taking place. A new ideal is flourishing, breaking with the myth of infinite growth in a world that is not. The festival exhibits this growing forest.
By bringing together the forces of degrowth in all its forms, but also welcoming novices and the curious, we hope to foster encounters, create synergies, feel our collective strength. This strength is prolific. The festival nurtures art in all its forms. In taking part, we claim the right to well-being and promote sharing. Sharing of one’s feelings. Of one’s knowledge. Of one’s ideas. Of one’s desires, one’s projects, one’s fights.
Balancing the living and the economy is possible. During three days of celebration, arts, discussions, games... you are invited to experience a degrowth way of life and to renew with the joys of forsaking consumerism. To enjoy the pleasures of making connections, of discussing, of imagining, of being humane, of slowly experiencing time.
Degrowth, the festival is designed based on the principles of degrowth. If we do not pretend to be flawless for this first edition, we work coherently by experimenting and imagining new resilient approaches. We hope to inspire the evolution of practices of cultural events. Here, no commercial stalls nor any greenwashing, and each and every one of you gets to “Pay What You Want” in order to get access to the festival.
Diversity is also at the heart of the values of the festival. Diversity of approaches, to reach everyone. But also diversity of points of view. We encourage the discussion and confrontation of ideas, in a friendly environment that promotes fruitful emulation.
The festival is steadfastly ecofeminist. In its design of how discussions take place, the choice of the premises, the use of gender-neutral language which allows for egalitarian and non-sexist writing, everything is thought out by our team, mostly feminine.
Finally, we have designed the Festival as a place of Democracy. Democracy lies in the type of the association organizing the festival. Democracy lies in the way we debate. Democracy lies in the way we cooperate with our partners. Democracy lies in ensured accessibility for all, regardless of age, validity, or economic means. Because we want for everyone to be able to sow their seed and play their part in growing a new environment.
The degrowth pledges of the festival
The ecological footprint of festivals is often very high. Far from greenwashing, we experiment with practices that can make a difference.
The choice of location
Saint-Maixent-l'École has many advantages when it comes to organizing a degrowth event:
- The proximity of a train station to limit car travel.
- A city on a human scale, making all journeys possible on foot or by bike.
- Sites provided with water and electricity and a place already equipped with all the necessary infrastructure, making it possible to reuse existing venues.
The physical design of the festival
- “Pay What You Want” Admission in order to allow everyone to participate regardless of their means
- Rental, reuse, local and biosourced materials are favored.
- The companies we seldom seek for specific technical tasks are 100% local.
- We only provide composting toilets.
- The premises are accessible to children and people with reduced mobility.
- The festival is a space of anti-consumerism. There are no commercial stalls. You can only buy food and drink, and possibly some good books...
The choice of artists and panel of speaker
- Our choices are guided by whose messages and practices are the most in line with the principles of degrowth.
- Our cooperation code details our values.
- Travel means by soft mobility only: transport by train or bus.
- We respect gender parity for our panelist selection.
Food and drink
- All our dishes are sustainable and washable (no disposable).
- No plastic bottles.
- From food to drink, everything we serve is local.
- We only produce compost and recyclables (glass).
- Our watchword is recovery: we use as materials what others consider to be "waste".
- After the festival, all these materials will be reused or rehashed.
- We are still looking for how to deal with and value cigarette butts.
The choice of our means of communication
- Our website is eco-designed to consume as little data as possible.
- There will be no digital broadcast of the festival.
- Our team of graphic designers shares our values and all printed supports are done so locally and on recycled paper.
Measuring our impact
- We will measure the carbon footprint of the festival and our goal is to reduce it year after year.