Fresh from the incredible—and by now expected!—success of Terra Madre Day, we are getting ready to end 2011 and look forward to 2012. The coming year is already packed with events of great significance for our network.
In particular, October will see one of those moments destined to go down in the history of our movement. Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre will be united into a single event, completely open to the public, which will blend their characteristics into one huge festival. Meanwhile the Slow Food International Congress will be held on the same days. The simultaneous presence in Turin of all the association’s delegates, members of the Slow Food network and the Terra Madre communities will give us the chance to launch a new era for the movement.
There is no doubt that this event will confirm how much the Terra Madre network has influenced the actions and ideas of Slow Food over the past eight years. The association’s International Congress will be enriched by being open to representatives from the Terra Madre food communities, which should help it take the next step and let not only its ideology but also its organization and structure be influenced by Terra Madre. Slow Food must revitalize itself by drawing inspiration from Terra Madre, avoiding excessively “structuralist” ways of thinking. Instead it must pay greater attention to emotional intelligence and austere anarchy, the inspirational and organizational principles behind the network. They represent the ability to stay open and sensitive to the whole world, to diversity, completely accepting its complexity, with the awareness that any overly rigid structure will never manage to interpret the extraordinary heritage we have built up over the years.
I predict that Salone del Gusto/Terra Madre and the 2012 Slow Food International Congress will be the moment in which everything will become fully integrated, the famous “closing of the circle.” We will have almost a year to properly prepare for this moment and plan its organization. I want to invite the network to start thinking about it and discussing it, so as to be as prepared as possible for those October days, which will surely live long in our memories.
Salone del Gusto/Terra Madre will take place October 25-29, 2012 in Turin, Italy.
For photos and stories on how the world celebrated Terra Madre Day this year, visit: