Estivales de la Question animale

The Estivales 2009

Nice view!

The Estivales 2009 took place from Saturday 15th to Saturday 22nd August at Parménie in the Isère département in South-East France.

Closing press release
of the 2009 edition

The 2009 edition of the Estivales de la question animale has just come to its end, confirming the success of these annual encounters: 67 people, most of them but not all animal activists or sympathisers, participated in the programmed events and debates and in the shared moments of conviviality within the relaxing settings of the Parménie Centre.

Estivales 2009

Despite a slight slump in the number of participants - presumably due to our delay in announcing this year's edition and to an overlap with the vegan festival “Le Cri de la Carotte” - the enthusiasm of the participants was as high as in last year's edition. Different generations and nationalities, varied experiences and heterogenous knowledges were blended and combined. In this pluralistic atmosphere, the animal question was explored in new and multiple ways. The reflections concerned not only different activist practices (presentation of the Italian coalition against vivisection in universities, of the collective Lausanimaliste (Lausanne, Switzerland), of the campaigns of the Austrian association VGT...), but also artistic expression (performance of drawing on sand, slam performance...), the relations of each of us with her- or himself (analysis of the issue of personal identity), with society (discussion about children choosing to become vegetarians) and with other cultures (introduction to the philosophy of India, informal discussions between participants from different countries: Ethiopia, Germany, Switzerland...).

Thus once again the Estivales confirm their project as a place of exchange. It is of utmost importance to the organizers to preserve the openness and pluralism of this project and to avoiding any dogmatic evolution. The Estivales are not a party school aimed at transmitting an unifying ideology; rather, they are a democratic agora. They belong to all citizens who reflect on the common animality of sentient beings and on the ethical and political consequences, whatever their positions may be.

This year particularly, this openness came under strong criticism, through attacks against one participant who had expressed himself elsewhere on issues unrelated to the animal question. Many times various techniques were used to intimidate the organizers and to pressure them into cancelling the intervention of that participant. As is affirmed on the site of the Estivales: “The Estivales (are) open to all who are interested by the animal question” and “The participants express their opinions freely and are sole responsible for them”. This attempt impose censureship on the Estivales confirms the organizers in their belief that their project is necessary in order to encourage exchanges in settings that allow opinions to be expressed freely, appreciated and debated through the instruments of reason.

The organizers of the Estivales 2009