There has been a real surge of festivals on the commons in recent months, and in the months ahead! The First International Festival of the Commons – Festival Internazionale dei Beni Comuni – will be held in Chieri, Italy, from July 9 to 2. The event is a cultural happening sponsored by the borough Chieri near Torino.
The festival will consist of meetings, round tables, music, cinema, theatre, art and performances (hashtag, #commonsfestival). The primary focus, organizers declare, is “how to live and produce in common…..The Festival will be well more than an extemporaneous and spectacular event: it will bethe beginning of a shared journey to the imagination and construction of a more just, open and participated society.”
While there will be plenty of focus on “global theories” presented in Chieri, there will also be a focus on how to reclaim “those local spaces left empty and useless by the crisis of Fordist production.” A number of panels will look at how to develop alternatives that are not just sustainable, but generative, and political models that let people share responsibilities and choices.
The legendary Brazilian musicians Gilberto Gil will perform reggae, samba and folk with Caetano Veloso on July 10 at Piazza Dante in Chieri. Tickets are available now. Free culture fans will recall that Gil, besides showing exemplary courage as a political dissident in Brazil decades ago, was Culture Minister in the early 2000s and an early, critically important champion of Creative Commons licenses.
The Chieri festival will feature a number of headliners such as Vandana Shiva from India; Italian legal scholar, politician and commons theorist Stefano Rodotà; Italian legal scholar Ugo Mattei; Salvatore Settis, President of the Scientific Council of the Louvre; Italian jurist Gustavo Zagrebelsky; and a number of prominent Italian writers, directors and cultural figures.
I am pleased to join this august roster of commoners for a panel on “The State of the Digital Commons” on July 11 at 10 am. I will also have the opportunity to celebrate the release of the Italian translation of Think Like a Commoner, as masterfully translated by Bernardo Parrella. Professor Ugo Mattei has contributed the preface.