Blog: How to start a Food Revolution by Marleen Brouwer -
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Blog: How to start a Food Revolution by Marleen Brouwer

Blog: How to start a Food Revolution by Marleen Brouwer

How To Start a Food Revolution: doves & chickens, blood & ketchup
Marleen Brouwer 29th of March 2012

Last week the Movies That Matter film festival took place in The Hague. With the event Amnesty International promoted human rights movies among Dutch movie lovers. Movies about activists (our government prefers to call them ‘human rights defenders’) as well as violations are very popular with the public. Every visitor seemed to be interested in the heroes, but also in the bad guys. People liked to see peace doves, but did not mind a little blood.

Last month there was even another film festival organised in the Netherlands. Hundreds of people bought tickets for the movies shown at the Food Film Festival in Amsterdam. The Youth Food Movement had one clear objective: making people (re-)recognise the true value of food. Again, visitors got inspired by movies with heroes (whether cooks, retailers or farmers) and bad guys (ehm, whether cooks, retailers or farmers). Again, people loved to see organic chicken farms, but equally liked to get a taste of the ‘rotten’ ketchup industry.

Good versus bad. People (movie lovers as much as politicians) fancy to choose sides and define their own opinion in terms of those two faces. At the Movies That Matter festival the documentary How To Start A Revolution was shown. It concerned the theory of Gene Sharp (now 83). Sharp designed one of the most extensive theories of non-violent resistance. To be concrete, he made a list of 189 methods to use in this form of resistance. The success of his methods has been claimed many times, for example during the revolts in Egypt last year.

Documentary: How To Start a Revolution

Is a revolution really about the good versus the bad? I, and many fellow youngsters, do not think so. Yes, we like to demonstrate the blind spots of old-fashioned, conservative systems. Young people have the guts to seriously question current developments that threaten our future. But in the end we are aware of the fact that a revolution is about uplifting the good and convincing the un-convinced to follow the same direction. That is worth fighting for. - ‘an exciting experiment on new governance’ - is one of the modern non-violent instruments to define a common vision for our food future. Whether it concerns health issues, the human right to food, potential wars on food, the fun of cooking, free potatoes at Dam Square or the CAP: we need small protests without weapons to make a sustainable food movement grow.

Food is the subject where human rights activists and poverty fighters meet. Let’s pick up our knives and forks together. The public debates on will bring guidance. The starting point about ‘who’s been good and who’s been bad’ is retardant. The visitors of are invited to an open debate about what food should be and what policies we need in order to accomplish our objectives. I am looking forward to a revolutionary International Conference in Autumn. Maybe we can ask Mr. Sharp as one of our keynote speakers?

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