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Elevate 2021 - Momentum

A festival like Elevate thrives on culminating in a few days a year. A momentum is to be created: The "festival momentum". After all, something should be moved - not only in people's minds but also physically. Five days of programme with lots of music, art and political discourse on the festival theme Momentum start on 4 August.

Momentum is difficult to grasp, if only because it occurs in different contexts. In physics, for example, we can speak of momentum when we are talking about impulse and driving force. From Latin, momentum means the duration of a movement. Many people certainly first think of the moment, a short but not precisely defined time interval in which many things can happen. But it is also clear that a momentum is not a permanent state. Like the conceptually related moment, the momentum is also fleeting, even if it is not necessarily as fleeting as a moment.

In socio-political terms, a momentum for a movement usually arises when something has already built up beforehand and it comes to a point where the pressure becomes too great. Summer of Love, anti-nuclear movement, Tian'anmen protests, fall of the Berlin Wall, Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, Hong Kong umbrella movement, Fridays for Future, Black Lives Matter - some of these movements have changed our society permanently. Others were put down with violence. But none remained without traces.

The internet and social media have dramatically accelerated the dynamics of these movements. The Arab Spring can rightly be called the "first internet revolution". But the Arab Spring in particular also shows how forcefully the pendulum can swing back again when the "momentum" is lost.

The Covid-19 pandemic, in turn, weakened the momentum of some movements: Lockdowns instead of protest in the streets. Digital technologies and organisational concepts gained momentum, even though video conferencing and home office concepts existed long before the pandemic. It took a virus to spread both like an avalanche. However, it was mainly the big players that profited - with a few exceptions. Existing open source technologies could not establish themselves in the mainstream.

Eventful times!

Corona as an impulse for change, the climate crisis as an existential challenge: a suitable time to reflect on movements. How does momentum arise and how can it be used? What characteristics trigger its intensity? Where are our society, politics and people heading?

What comes "afterwards"?

These and many other questions will be addressed in the discourse programme of the Elevate Festival 2021.


Discourse - Programme Overview

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