The group endeavours to ensure that meeting spaces are as accessible as possible to the widest range of people. Therefore, we ask everyone to carefully read through these points and reflect on them before coming to and while being at the Food Autonomy Festival.
While ground rules are a collective responsibility, everyone is also personally responsible for their own behaviour. People are also responsible for the behaviour of their non-human friends.
Racism, as well as ageism, homophobia, sexism, transphobia, ableism, or prejudice based on ethnicity, nationality, class, gender presentation, sexuality, language ability, asylum status or religious affiliation is unacceptable and will be challenged. This list is not exhaustive, but simply a way to start thinking about systemic struggles that are present in our societies. If you have any additions or criticisms, feel free to reach out to us!
Respect each other’s physical and emotional boundaries.
- Not everyone likes to be touched (such as hugged, kissed or shaken hands for greeting). Always get explicit verbal consent before touching someone or crossing boundaries. Remember that consent is ongoing, „no“ means no ‚and a „yes“ can be taken back at any moment.
- We value bodily autonomy and the right to express oneself – at the same time some people do not feel comfortable with bare chests or do not feel comfortable with it in all contexts. This means that everyone is required to keep their shirt on at the festival. As this is a big space with a large number of participants, it is not practically feasible to ensure that everyone around you is comfortable with someone being shirtless (or that they feel able to express their discomfort). Therefore, we wish to avoid this issue altogether.
When consuming substances such as alcohol or weed, make sure to check that everyone around you feel comfortable with it.
- If you want to smoke, drink, or use other substances, ask if it’s okay with the people around you. There will be a specific area set aside for smoking.
- Please do not offer alcohol, cigarettes, weed or any other substance to anyone without knowing if they want it – it can be triggering for people who don’t consume it or have stopped consuming it to receive multiple invitations.
Avoiding oppressive behaviors
Be aware of the space you take up and the positions and privileges you bring.
- Due to our race, religion, gender, sex, ability, class etc., we have different experiences in society. Before you speak up about a certain topic, ask yourself how you relate to it, what position you hold and whether you are concerned by it. If you are concerned by it, you can tell others, if not, give others the space to speak.
- Avoid macho behaviour & mansplaining.
- We especially invite cis-men to do reproductive work.
Do not „other“ BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour).
- „Othering“ is the process of marginalising someone from a non-dominant social group by labelling them as different, stereotyping, talking down to and/or excluding them.
- Racism is built into systems designed and upheld by white people. If you are white, please do not hesitate to make yourself accountable if you hear a racist comment being made.
- Do not assume where people may come from on the basis of them being a person of colour.
- Do not exoticize or fetishize BIPOC: e.g. do not say things like “I love BIPOC” or “You have this in your blood”, and do not touch the hair of BIPOC.
Do not silence the words and emotions of others.
- Some discussions can bring up strong emotions, especially when you are directly affected by the subject of the discussion. Don’t try to calm someone’s anger or other emotions, especially if you are not directly involved in the situation. Keep in mind that BIPOC and working class people often have their speech cut off because they are „too angry“.
Avoid assuming the opinions and identifications of other participants.
- Identifications are not always visible. Instead of assuming other people’s identities, let them speak for themselves.
- For example: Some people wear stickers with their pronouns: he, she, they, etc. You can also ask always ask someone what their pronouns are before using gendered vocabulary. In all cases, respect the pronouns used by a person.
- Remind yourself that many disabilities are not visible.
Do not infantilize people with disabilities
- Always talk to them directly, also if it might take more time or is more complicated. Respect everyone’s autonomy, it is not an act of generosity to make spaces accessible, but everyone’s collective responsibility.
Relating to each other
People make different decisions, depending on their experiences.
- Depending on our paths, people have different needs and not all lifestyles are accessible and safe for everyone. Try not to judge, put each other down or compete.
Be aware of the language you use in discussions and how you relate to others.
- Try to speak slowly and clearly and use uncomplicated language. Explain terms that might not be known by everyone. Some terms that are used in academia or activist circles might be unfamiliar to or might be interpreted differently by people.
Foster a spirit of mutual respect: Listen to the wisdom everyone brings to the group.
- Give each person the time and space to speak. In large groups, or for groups using facilitation: Raise your hand to speak and wait until the facilitator has given you the word.
Ask before taking pictures of people.
- Some people do not want their picture taken (for safety or other reasons): always ask permission before taking a picture, video, audio recording, or tagging people on social media.
Non-human companions are welcome, but keep in mind that some might feel unsafe around or be allergic to dogs.
- Dogs are allowed at the festival, but must be on a leash at all times. Be aware that if your dog is agressive, we might ask you to leave the festival.
- The quiet space will be a pet free zone.
… you hurt someone’s feelings?
If someone tells you that they are hurt by what you said or did, acknowledge their experience. Try to acknowledge feelings of defensiveness arising in yourself. This is not an attack on your personality, but someone is simply sharing with you how they experienced something you did or said. Try not to interrupt the other person, but rather try to understand what they are trying to tell you.
… someone violates the agreements?
If the agreements above are violated, a discussion or mediation process can happen, depending on the wishes of the person who was violated. If a serious violation happens (e.g. to the extent that someone feels unsafe), the person can be asked to leave the space and/or speak with a person nominated by those present.
“Respect the person: challenge their behaviour.”
If you see that someone does something that makes other people feel uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to talk to them. You can also always contact the awareness team at the festival for advise/help or to express your needs.
As we want to make this a safe a space as possible for all, ASEED (the organising team) will NOT call the police in situations of conflict or escalation. We cannot stop others from doing so, but our response to any issues will always be to tackle them within the group instead.