On May the 15th 2023, the founding members of Artemisia were happy to invite you
to an exceptional evening in the presence of Vandana Shiva.
Photo credit: Bernard de Keyzer
Ten years after her last visit to Belgium, Vandana Shiva returned to Brussels. This world-famous Indian environmental activist has dedicated her life to the promotion of sustainable agriculture and the protection of biodiversity for over 40 years.
As the European Commission works on two crucial legislative proposals for the future of our agriculture, published on July 5 2023 (see here and here), and at a time when genetic modification techniques have evolved considerably, many experts around the world wonder what those transformations mean for our health, rights and food.
Dr Vandana Shiva is the founder of the Navdanya Foundation, a movement dedicated to the protection of biodiversity and traditional seed varieties, as well as the promotion and dissemination of organic agriculture. Simultaneously a teacher, lecturer, writer, activist, philosopher of science, ecologist and feminist, her struggles and successes have earned her recognition as one of the seven most powerful women in the world (Forbes Magazine, 2010). In 1993, she was awarded the Alternative Nobel Prize “for placing women and ecology at the heart of modern speech”.
She did us the honour of her presence in the magnificent hall "Studio 4" of the Flagey Cultural Center to speak on these hot topics. From the new generation of GMOs to the marketing of seeds, Vandana Shiva delivered her vision of a desirable future, taking care of the Planet and its inhabitants. Her speech was followed by a talk with a panel of speakers.
Moderated by Aurèle Destrée, co-founder of the Schumacher Sprouts Belgium, the panel was composed of:
- Vandana Shiva;
- Marie Toussaint, MEP Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, militant jurist founder and former
president of the association Notre affaire à tous;
- Blanche Magarinos-Rey, lawyer specialised in environmental law, founder of the Artemisia project;
This conference took place in a particular context
On the one hand, it came ten years after the EU failed to pass a reform on the seed trade and farmers' access to agricultural biodiversity. This key Issue is now finally back on the table of the European legislator.
Furthermore, in 2018, the European Court of Justice reaffirmed the need to submit genetically modified organisms (GMOs, intended for animal or human consumption) to a health and environmental assessment and provide transparent information to consumers. Since then, the seed and agrochemical industry and some European governments have been lobbying for these basic requirements to be softened.
The European Commission is about to give in to these demands in a context where genetic modification techniques have considerably evolved and now seem to be within everyone's reach. Vandana Shiva's powerful and visionary speech, combining sharp intellectual research and courageous activism, appears as a compass in the middle of the storm.
Militant organisations and others to whom the price of the evening was a problem, could contact us to get a promotional code.
6:30 p.m.: Opening of the venue
7 p.m.: Lecture by Vandana Shiva
8 p.m.: Round table with the panel
8:30 p.m.: Questions and answers with the public
9 p.m.: Informal discussions in the bar area
More on Vandana Shiva
About Vandana Shiva
The Navdanya organisation
The Seeds of Vandana Shiva, documentary film, 2022
Online Conference "TEDx Masala - Dr Vandana Shiva - Solutions to the food and ecological crisis facing us today"
Bibliography (open source encyclopedia)
The conference was hosted by Artemisia aisbl, with the precious help of the Navdanya association and a set of Belgian and European partners, including Terre et Conscience, ARC2020, Réseau Meuse-Rhin-Moselle, the Oikos think tank, European Coordination Let’s Liberate Diversity!, Nature & Progrès Belgique, the Imagine, Demain le monde magazine, the Beyond Growth 2023 Conference.