The Festival program has been assembled in a participatory way, in a slow cooking mode. At its core are pillars of the OpenCare two year research on community alternatives to health and social care. Everywhere we look, from the hyperlocal to the international, people are committed to building solutions. There is a nascent, ambitious, and effective ecosystem of care that is developing in response to the failures of the current models. We aim to highlight and support that development.
The structure of the program brings together sessions built around three themes: Open Science, Architecture of Love, and Revolutionary Care. The themes blend and build on one another, reflective of the fundamental interdependence of care. Three fellows were selected from the variety of participants to help curate and develop the three themes as well as the festival itself.
One of OpenCare’s core themes has been citizen science and Open Science. Many projects are producing highly promising products and outputs. “We have no capital, no investors, no shares” - Winnie Poncelet has lined up a number of both researchers and champions of affordable and accessible technology for care who are on a learning path to improve coordination and distribute team efforts and value accordingly.
Architectures of Love is evoking an important thematic tension between policy and values. Gehan Macleod condensed her question to an essential perspective, asking what foundational parts of a culture contribute to a caregiving society that go beyond formally enforced policies. Experiences from the City of Milano, from community groups in Galway and Glasgow are a few ways to understand what are enablers for citizen-led care responses.
Revolutionary Care: Building Health Autonomy is the third theme of the festival. As we talk about care, we are working to understand how we can live together and how we can develop our lives in commune. We ask the questions around responding to crisis, responding to our needs, and building generational models of care. Finally, as we face the destruction around us, we strive to highlight care as a fundamentally revolutionary act. The Woodbine Health Autonomy collective (represented by Nicole Demby and Frank Coughlin) based in New York City, has curated this theme.
We know this festival will be more than another “passive” conference. The lines between presenter and audience are purposefully blurred and as we have worked to build the Edgeryders community, we will take the information and use it to build tangibly. The first two days will highlight the work of different projects and groups around the world. We look to meet new friends, share embraces with old ones, and learn together. On the third day, we will experiment together as we continue in the process of building new worlds that place our collective well-being at the forefront.
We look forward to walking this path with you.
Gehan, Noemi, Nicole, Frank, Winnie