Sunday evening after a weekend full of activities, Anarchapple and Squarrot reflect on the weekend.
– I have to confess something Squarrot, Friday morning, when we arrived for the farming activities at the Lutkemeerpolder, I was feeling a bit emotional.
– Really? Why?
– I don’t know, it felt weirldy powerful but at the same time also very desperate, working in the fields so close to the destruction site of the Lutkemeerpolder, where they are destroying fertile agricultural land to build a distribution centre. It really felt like the 2 sides of the struggle were facing each other, do you know what I mean?
– Yes, totally. And also farming on this land which has been part of such a direct resistance for years, it just really felt like it made sense! And also talking about all these questions related to agricultural justice during the weed dating, really made me feel deeply connected to the struggle that is happening right there!
– Yes, I kept on thinking about that while farming there in the afternoon. I heard it is because they have a rent contract with the government and they don’t allow that. Stupid government! This is what they call democracy.
Did you know that the farmers from the Boterbloem are not allowed to have political events on their farm?
– I really enjoyed the evening program, Squarrot! Dancing to the fun music of Great Joy and Velvet Burns and watching the magical performance of the Beatreece circus was such a cool start of the festival.
– Yes, and don’t forget the dinner, Anarchapple, it was so delicious. I have to say though, my ass still hurts from the bike ride from the Boterbloem to Noordoogst.
– haha, yes mine too!
– It was the first time I went to Noordoogst it’s a super nice place!
They are usually an urban farming project with lots of different small companies and initiatives.
– What kind of workshops did you actually join?
– I wanted to be active, so I mainly went to practical workshops. I learned for example how to create different types of compost and also how to do my own Kambucha! You can make them with so many different flavours! I also went to a workshop where they were giving tips on how to live for free, dumpsterdiving, stealing etc.
– To get your food you can also start food coops, they had an entire workshop about that. This also allows to give a fair price to producers and source your food locally! Let’s hijack the industrial foodsystem!
– Apropos hijacking industrial agriculture. I learned more about how to do a arrestee suport group in case we want to block them… Muhahaha .
Haha Good old Anarchapple! I also really enjoyed the climbing training! I never thought a carrot could climb up a tree!
– And I joined some super interesting sessions about resisting oppressive structures! The panel about “Resistance to extractivism” had so inspiring people in it from all over the world! It was really amazing to see how their struggles overlap and how they are connected with each other, even though they are in totally different parts of the world ¹.
– Oh that sounds interesting! I went to the panel discussion right after that about Disability Justice and Food Justice ¹. The Disability Justice framework really gave me a new way of seeing the world, oppressive structures and violence.
– I also heard about the workshop “Reclaim the land” by buying land collectively and taking it out of the market. I am so sad I missed that one! But I really needed to take a break in the low-sensory tent. So much information and so many people. I just really needed a break!
– Yes, that was a good choice. I got that time a bit when I was taking a walk and looking at the amazing installations that were happening all around the area. I really love how they integrated the sculptures into the landscape.
– Yes, also the painting from the Zapatistas about their journey to the Netherlands. What an honour to have that painting at the festival!
Yes, I totally agree. I am also really happy that I went to the reading group session about the Zapatistas. Their fight is just such an inspiration in this brutal, capitalist world. I think I want to join their reading group more regularly!
– Wow, there were really so many things happening at the same time! But let’s not forget about the session about the Voedselpark and the session by Re-Peat about Peat-Free agriculture.
– Yes, and the Queering Ecologies reading group, the session about Disability in Activist spaces, the introduction to the No Border Camp, Organizing Democratic Unions, and Unlearning Gender Stereotypes. The list doesn’t end ² !
– You know what I also really liked, squarrot, was to end the Saturday evening with a more artistic programme. The Spoken word art really made me also connect emotionally to topics such as gender, activism and food.
Yes for sure. And also the music performance by Giant Julie let me sink in all the information I received during the day.
– Also, the food was so delicious. I am always mesmerized how what is called food waste can be turned into a three star meal.
– Yes, that is so true! The festival would not have been the same without the aspect of sharing food in the sun. Food connects and builds opportunities of conversations and stopping for a moment from the productive life.
– Talking about sharing, did you also see the seedling swap? I got some new baby plants that now found a new home in my garden!
– Yes, and the sharing aspect also came up in the process of making tortillas from different native varieties of corn on the fire. That was a special experience!
– That reminds me of the Cacao workshop, where we explored the history of the origin of cacao and its relation to colonialism by preparing and sharing the original recipe from the Amazon.
– Wow, Squarrot, that was quite a lot! But tell me, what was your favourite.
– Hmm, I really couldn’t tell, so many impressions. But the circus performance was really outstanding, I have to say. And how cool that they used the lights from the cars to lit up the stage. That’s real DIY!
– Haha yes, that’s so true! Okay, squarrot, time to take some rest and go to bed! Good night!