To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the FOU, the Festival of Useful Openings, the Paris Intersquat network invites you to an international get-together from June 4th to 10th. An opportunity to come together among squatters from the whole world in a self-organized and free space.
The FOU has usually been quite an artistic event, with most squats in the network opening their doors and putting on events individually; for the ten years of FOU, we are doing it a little differently. Especially in light of the current state of the world, we would like to focus this year’s convergence more specifically on the battle against capitalism and its oppressive mechanisms, and emphasize techniques of resistance, and how we choose to move forward to walk our talk and create the world we want to see in the wake of the imminent destruction of this outdated and toxic system.
The festival will last for one week, with a participative program of expositions, round tables, discussions, talks and presentations, projections, concerts and performances.
This is an open call for active participation by our international network! We want to create a free space where we can share, learn, and exchange ideas. To learn more about how you squat in your country, what battle are you engaged in, how do you fight and resist and create a better world?
You are warmly encouraged to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can include your propositions in the program, and we will also definitely have open spaces and times for spontaneous improvisation during the week of the festival.
Comrades are welcome to come in advance to help us prepare the festival or stay longer to create a better world with us! We will arrange accomodation for participants coming from far, the more the merrier!
FOU stands for Festival des Ouvertures Utiles – Festival of Useful Openings.
FOU also means crazy, mad, freak or nutter.
The privatization of our world is an offensive that steals the rights and resources from all people, who are the hands that make this world and its implanted system turn. Enslaved in the machine, they have hijacked the minds of the masses, inculcated in fear and entrenched in the use of gadgets and media to distract and numb. The constructed forms of discrimination, such as gender, skin color, sexuality preferences, money and socioeconomic status, which are the tools of separation of the society of fear and spectacle, must be acknowledged and thusly dismantled, accepted and deconstructed by becoming sensitive to how they affect each and every one of us. Repression is present in various forms in our daily lives, and we hope to create a safe space where we can come to deeper understanding of the types of struggles experienced by our comrades in all walks of life.
We are deeply inspired by the INTERSQUAT festivals, which have happened in various locations all around the world, and to celebrate ten years of Intersquat festival in Paris, we invite you to join us to make moves to deepen the understanding and connections between our global struggles for equality and freedom. The pressure continues to rise, the global political scene is more horrendous and more ridiculous than we could imagine, and our resistance must match the depth of our discontent with the direction in which we are heading. We need to guard our autonomous and free spaces, which are threatened constantly with laws and state violence. The elite show their fear by demonstration of force, and we will show our strength in efficient planning and action to create our vision of our free and shared world.
Gentrification and the rising prices in the cities pushes the marginalized to the outskirts; the movements to defend and protect those affected by systemized injustice often struggle for financial and societal support, or are blatantly criminalized, and thus the state squashes all modes of resistance. In the name of profit, tons of food is wasted and people go hungry, buildings are left empty and people are left on the street in unreasonable weather conditions; in the name of the illusion of the monetary system, most people trade all their time and energy and thusly have lost the connection to the power in the collective! This is a convergence of the global struggles of women and men, children and elderly, able-bodied and handicapped, in the cities and villages, and beyond, the oceans and marine life, the coasts, the forests, the mountains and its resources, the waters, the marshlands, all endangered natural spaces which are threatened by the endless expansion of the cities.
This is a heart-felt call for coming together! Let us envision and develop alternatives and methods of self-organizing and self-governance!
During the festival, there will be an exposition focused on Squats and also the convergence of global struggles; we invite you to participate by presenting information about your squat, our how you squat in your country, what are the laws and/or the difficulties you face?
Other questions we could ask to provoke questions, or to focus on in various expositions or spectacles:
- What techniques of resistance can we develop to create the world we want to see?
- How do we educate and engage the younger generations in our battle against the systems of oppression?
- How does the State oppress or support the evolution of the society?
- How can we better network and self-organize?
- How can we reach strong solidarity?
- How do we embody solidarity in our individual lives?
- How can we fight against the patriarchal and mysogynist programming ingrained in our own minds and in our collective spaces?
- How do we negotiate the need for leadership without entering into oppressive rigid hierarchies?
There are endless questions we can pose to ourselves, so this is just a small starting point, and the discussion and the festival grows with YOU!
The discussion of free spaces and our collective and individual struggles is super complex! There will be open spaces for spontaneous meetings and discussions for whatever relevant topics rise up 🙂
We are very excited to share with you! Bring your ideas, your passion, and your fire! 😉
In Solidarity and Love, Paris INTERSQUAT!
This text was largely inspired by the one written for the 2010 Berlin intersquat festival. Thanks to the authors!