This constitutes a narrative of how came to be, from a critique of the co-opting of the free software community by surveillance capitalists, and the failure to reform our main event from within, the following creation of an off festival to call for awareness, and the final move to fork into something completely different.
- Growing awareness of the shortcomings of the free software community
- The danger of corporate sponsors, and how to fund a community event differently
- When we realized the funding source might not be the only issue (i.e., politics)
A quarter before FOSDEM’s 20th anniversary, we published a short post announcing OFFDEM:
- Keeping surveillance capitalists at bay
- The path is the goal: presence, conviviality, collaboration, continuity
- A focus on building tomorrow today
- Consolidating the ways of OFFDEM
- The undocumented citizens’ hospitality (food and shelter)
- Good food and solidarity
- Working groups and the general assembly
- Passing on the Flame
Here, OFFDEM 0x04, the fifth edition is the first one with decentralized events: the usual gathering in Brussels on the first week-end of February will happen, to keep the clock ticking, since the dates are ingrained in our collective mindset — and a new volunteer team stepped up to organize it. Another event will take place all the way across Europe, in Crete, a couple of months later Who knows, maybe other small free software gatherings will sprout this or next year… One thing is certain: we need more small groups gathering and working together on addressing pressing issues, and share their achievements with everyone, to grow knowledge and know-how, critical spirit and digital technologies that count to bring forth affordances for the whole of humanity, with the hope to live, think, and act together in peace and freedom.
God willing, we will prevail, in peace and freedom from fear, and in true health, through the purity and essence of our natural… fluids.