a playful collective inquiry into the gift paradigm
We invite you to our unfolding story…
In October 2013, a remarkable gathering took place in Istanbul Turkey. Called Giftival, a diverse group of writers, teachers, healers, film-makers, and GIFTivists from thirteen countries responded to a unique invitation: to come together to celebrate, share and explore their lives that center on gift culture and their communities.
They provided a glimpse of the quiet and powerful changes that are happening worldwide: People are seeking alternatives to rampant competition, greed and commodification of life. Grounded on basic and sacred principles of generosity, care, forgiveness, kindness and mutuality, gift cultures are emerging and growing.
Giftival provided a space for listening and witnessing personal stories that included:
–A woman from Istanbul spoke about their time bank (Zumbara) of 20,000 members and how they are using that model to re-weave the fabric of their community.
–Sitting in Gezi Park we heard students recount their experiences. One told how the government implored parents to bring their protesting young people home. Instead, mothers came with meals and fed thousands.
At the beginning we entered Giftival excited yet uncertain. After our four days we became a community certain that this must continue. We believe that Giftival is beyond an event, it can be an extended deepening and inquiry that brings us together, invites new participants, and creates possibilities that extends to our communities. It is already happening. From Istanbul to the US to India and this April of 2015, Rome Italy…Giftival Italia.
Giftival Italia is seven days of sharing gift practices and stories, deepening conversations and exchanging ideas. Its community continues to grow with giftivists from Japan, Zimbabwe, Switzerland, Italy and Mexico.
From this, we see Giftival being a part of a larger global movement–the gift and gift cultures are penetrating in every aspect of our lives. Slowly, quietly, but surely seeds of a larger movement are emerging which has the power to help forge a new story for what it means to be human.
We believe it is important to nourish these seeds.
We believe it is important to connect these seeds with each other.
We believe it is important to share these seeds with more communities around the planet.
Our Giftival community is committed to developing a three year inquiry into the gift culture which would bring gift culture visionaries and practitioners together, to meet twice a year for three years in different places on the planet (six meeting total). In this journey we hope to-
— assess/deepen our personal and collective understanding and practice of the gift culture;
— develop a clarity about it that transcends our own experience by witnessing GIFT in different contexts, different languages and within different cultures;
–tap into the collective wisdom manifest in the variety of questions/intentions/aspirations held by the participants and the hosts ( both people and place);
— bring together our energy to advance gifting as a way of being for ourselves and in the world thereby creating a tipping point network for the gift culture;
–create a social network (website, articles, blogs) that will generate sharing, exchange and global networking; and
–organize local giftival events.
Giftival Italia extends our heartfelt gratitude to our Rome hosts, The International Feminists for a Gift Economy, and the Feminist Center for the Study of the Gift Economy, who have welcomed our Giftival community to attend and participate in their global conference: Maternal Roots of the Gift Economy (see: http://gift-economy.com & click to Maternal Roots of the Gift Economy Conference Site).
This conference, premised “…that there is a logic of gift giving that belongs to everyone and that comes from the experience of having been young children”, has organized a remarkable program of speakers and practitioners coming from every continent.
Having these two communities together provides wonderful opportunities to meet, share, and learn from each other!