Elevate the Apocalypse?
2012 - The Apocalypse is placed as the central theme of the Elevate Festival in the form of a question: Are we going to achieve the much-needed shift towards solidarity-based economies and lifestyles that respect inherent ecological limits? Or will major disasters be necessary to bring about fundamental changes?
"Doomsday 2012" has been a reoccurring theme in the media for several years now - not least due to various predictions allegedly derived from Mayan traditions. The Winter Solstice on 21 December 2012 is incorrectly referred to as the end of the Mayan calendar, and used as an opportunity to spread dubious disaster scenarios - triggered by an abrupt geomagnetic reversal or by the sudden appearance of a "Planet X".
Beyond this, however, lie a whole lot of actual threats: unless a fundamentally different course is struck, the current economic crisis will continue to worsen, and the apparent de-democratization in the Western world will proceed. If we fail to keep climate change in check to a certain extent, significant parts of this planet may become uninhabitable for humans even within this century. And not to forget: the nuclear threat still persists even within Austria, especially by outdated nuclear reactors near the border, although it hardly crosses our mind these days. For an increasing number of people, however, especially in the global south, the major catastrophe has already ceased to be a future threat, and become everyday life: The rise of hunger, poverty and misery is the result of a global economic system that demands continual economic growth and therefore drives an ever-increasing resource consumption which leads to the destruction of vital ecosystems and arable soils.
As part of the three theme days "Understand!", "Act!" and "Develop!", the discourse program offers analyses of the latest developments by renowned experts (Understand!), presents forward-thinking alternatives that invite to become active (Act!), and tries, in cooperation with the audience, to further develop important pillars of our society (Develop!).
Concrete examples of alternative practices in the areas of food, energy and construction / housing will be presented, as well as strategies and concepts for a comprehensive democratization of societies, new forms of communication and solidarity-based models of economic activity - beyond exploitation, competition and profit.
A dialogue forum, organized in cooperation with the Austrian Broadcasting Association (ORF), deals with various approaches to the theme of the festival and examines psychological aspects and the role of the media. At the concluding Elevate Awards Show, awards are given out for the first time, to individuals and initiatives that are helping to make this world a better place.