“I am fighting for my future. Losing my future is not like losing an election, or a few points on the stock market. I am here to speak for all generations to come. I am here to speak — speak on behalf of the starving children around the world whose cries go unheard. In my life, I have dreamt of seeing the great herds of wild animals, jungles, and rainforests full of birds and butterflies, but now I wonder if they will even exist for my children to see. I am here to speak for the countless animals dying across this planet, because they have nowhere left to go. All this is happening before our eyes and yet we act as if we have all the time we want and all the solutions. I’m only a child and I don’t have all the solutions. I don’t — I want you to realize, neither do you. If you don’t know how to fix it, please stop breaking it. I am only a child, yet I know if all the money spent on war was spent on finding environmental answers ending poverty and in finding treaties, what a wonderful place this Earth would be.” Severn Cullis-Suzuki, Speech at U.N. Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, 1992
In 1992, Severn Cullis-Suzuki was only 13 years old. Thirty years later, another teenager, Greta Thunberg, inspired young people around the world to mobilize against the inaction on the climate crisis, expressing indignation toward political decision-makers: “You are stealing our future.”
More than anyone else, today’s children and young people are highlighting an emergency that we can no longer ignore: humanity is undermining the very foundations of life on Earth, losing its sense of wonder for nature, and its awareness of its place within it.
Terra Madre: a positive vision for the future
The themes of the last two editions of Terra Madre indicated both a shift in political perspective and an awareness of the need to broaden our horizons.
At Terra Madre 2020 we suggested setting aside our flags and political borders to discuss new geographies and ecosystems in all their complexity. At Terra Madre 2022, we recognized that the concept of mere sustainability is no longer sufficient; a process of regeneration is needed, first of all in our language and thought, and then in everything else: a regeneration of social relationships, of the relationships between humans, the soil, plants, animals, and the whole spectrum of biodiversity. We advocated for a transition from an extractive culture to a regenerative one.
These themes represent political milestones in the journey of Slow Food.
Terra Madre 2024: restoring our relationship with nature
Terra Madre 2024 takes another step in the direction set since 2004—when, for the first time, Salone del Gusto was accompanied by a meeting of food communities that changed the course of Slow Food as a movement. We must face the seriousness of this historic moment and the urgency of action with a positive perspective and a vision for a better future.
The crises we are living through require profound changes in human society. New paradigms are needed in order to implement these changes, and this will mean abandoning our comfort zones.
The new geographies of 2020 and the regeneration of 2022 were preliminary stages leading up to theme of the 2024 edition: to restore a balanced relationship between humans and all the rest of nature.
Food as the link between nature and culture
Food is our most important link between nature and culture: Slow Food, through Terra Madre, aims to show a way forward, to light a new path toward a healthier relationship with nature, through food. Our food reconnects us to the land, the soil, the sea, but it is also an integral part of our identities, our pleasure. It’s the perfect tool to reshape the bond between nature and culture.