Slow Movement

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The Slow Movement is a cultural shift toward slowing down life's pace.


[edit] Key Elements

The Slow Movement began with a protest against the opening of a McDonald's restaurant in Piazza di Spagna, Rome that sparked the creation of the Slow Food organization. Over time, this developed into a subculture in other areas, such as Slow Travel, Slow Shopping, and Slow Design.

Geir Berthelsen and his creation of The World Institute of Slowness[1] presented a vision in 1999 for an entire 'Slow Planet' and a need to teach the world the way of Slow.

Professor Guttorm Fløistad summarizes the philosophy, stating:

The only thing for certain is that everything changes. The rate of change increases. If you want to hang on you better speed up. That is the message of today. It could however be useful to remind everyone that our basic needs never change. The need to be seen and appreciated! It is the need to belong. The need for nearness and care, and for a little love! This is given only through slowness in human relations. In order to master changes, we have to recover slowness, reflection and togetherness. There we will find real renewal.

The Slow Movement is not organized and controlled by a singular organization; however, several large efforts have large followings, such as Slow Down Now and The World Institute of Slowness. Many other smaller groups are cropping up around the globe.

A principal characteristic of the Slow Movement is that it is propounded, and its momentum maintained, by individuals that constitute the expanding global community of Slow. Although it has existed in some form since the Industrial Revolution[citation needed] its popularity has grown considerably since the rise of Slow Food and Cittaslow in Europe, with Slow initiatives spreading as far as Australia and Japan.

[edit] Slow life

Opposed to the culture of fast food, the sub-movement known as Slow Food seeks to encourage the enjoyment of regional produce, traditional foods, which are often grown organically and to enjoy these foods in the company of others. It aims to defend agricultural biodiversity.

The movement claims 83,000 members in 50 countries, which are organized into 800 Convivia or local chapters. [2] Sometimes operating under a logo of a snail, the collective philosophy is to preserve and support traditional ways of life. Today, 42 states in the U.S. have their own convivium.

In 2004, representatives from food communities in more than 150 countries met in Turin under the umbrella of the Terra Madre (Mother Earth) network.

[edit] Cittaslow

The goals of the Cittaslow movement is to resist the homogenization and globalization of towns and cities and seeks to improve the quality and enjoyment of living by encouraging happiness and self-determination.

[edit] Slow Travel

Slow Travel is an evolving movement that has taken its inspiration from nineteenth-century European travel writers, such as Théophile Gautier, who reacted against the cult of speed, prompting some modern analysts to ask "If we have slow food and slow cities, then why not slow travel?" [3]. Other literary and exploration traditions, from early Arab travellers to late nineteenth-century Yiddish writers, have also identified with slow travel, usually marking its connection with community as its most distinctive feature.

Advocates of slow travel argue that all too often the potential pleasure of the journey is lost by too eager anticipation of arrival. Slow travel, it is asserted, is a state of mind which allows travellers to engage more fully with communities along their route, often favouring visits to spots enjoyed by local residents rather than merely following guidebooks [4]. As such, slow travel shares some common values with ecotourism. Its advocates and devotees generally look for low-impact travel styles, even to the extent of eschewing flying.

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