Le Temps des Communes, surely the largest festival of the commons ever, is about to get underway! The festival is not just a single event in a single place, but a series of more than 250 self-organized events to be held over the course of fifteen days in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada (Quebec) and several Francophone countries in west Africa.
From October 5 to 18, there will be symposia, workshops, lectures and participatory events on all sorts of commons-related topics. There will be events to showcase free and open source software, community gardens, participatory mapping projects, seed-sharing, open scientific knowledge, renewable energy co-operatives, land trusts and even a Creative Commons-licensed musical. The hundreds of festival events will help introduce the commons to the general public and demonstrate to current commoners just how large, diverse and exciting the world of collaborative provisioning truly is.
In Lyon, there will be a roundtable about making the city a commons. In Brussels, there will be an Open Source Festival. In Brest, a bike tour of shared gardens. In Paris, nearly thirty different events are planned.
I wish that I could attend the “law and the commons” discussion that will feature Stefano Rodotà, the Italian law scholar, politician and human rights advocate who has pioneered new legal principles for the commons. Paris will also host “A Day in the Commons” on Île-de-France, with workshop, a meal and planning for the future.
At the European Parliament, there will be a one-day gathering to discuss “The Internet as a Commons.” Elsewhere, there will be tours of FabLabs….a forum on water as a commons…..and the French group Ouishare will host a discussion about collaborative consumption, crowdfunding and shared living and working spaces.
Quite an inspiring array of events! I hope that the general public, mainstream media and political organizations will learn a lot from these events. Check out the festival website and the full program. (All webpages in French.) If you read French, check out the bibliography of French books on the commons!
Le Temps des Communes is likely to confirm the great appeal of open festivals for bringing together commoners of diverse stripes. It will also educate the public, media and political players about the many attractive but neglected alternatives available to us.