The slow movement: a philosophy of life

SLOW. The slow movement, or Slow, is a cultural or philosophical current that promotes living more calmly, with the aim of having a healthier and fuller life. It is a plural citizen movement with a transversal vocation.

The Slow movement is a cultural trend that promotes a calmer life, focusing on those activities that prioritize personal development and the use of technology aimed at saving time, with the aim of having a healthier and fuller life. It is a citizen movement, without organization, with a vocation of transversality and plurality. Its spokesperson is Carl Honoré, member of the Expert Lab of the Barcelona Time Use Initiative for a Healthy Society.

The dichotomy between speed and slowness must be as old as humanity itself, but it is true that since the Industrial Revolution, acceleration has not stopped. The cult of speed, and doing more and more things, has led many people one day to stop and realize that the fact of working a lot, traveling a lot, or filling the entire schedule with activities, prevents them from enjoying the activities. little things in life, the pleasure of the company of others, or being able to savor a good meal. Although in fact, as Carl Honoré explains in the book “In Praise of Slowness”, this complaint against the tyranny of time is as old as the first clocks.

In this book, Carl Honoré, relates the different movements and campaigns that are being carried out around the world to live in a different way. In a way that does not deny the benefits of speed, or technology, because they are really necessary, but in which it manifests itself against the tyranny of speed, immediate and ephemeral satisfaction, and often little or nothing respectful of the environment. ambient. Movements such as Slow food, Cittaslow, SlowShop, slow exercise or slow sex, are some of the examples of this desire to calm the frenetic pace that surrounds the whole of society. The book was published more than 15 years ago, and it seems clear that the philosophy of slowness has been penetrating among us, both individually and collectively.

Slow Food was the pioneer movement of this new trend that calls for calm, and which was generated as a contrast to the first fast food establishment that opened in Italy. Slow Food, present in 160 countries and with more than 100,000 associates, promotes a more sustainable gastronomy rooted in the territory. I defend the pleasure of eating and the right to enjoy good, clean and fair food, obtained taking into account the balance of the planet, biodiversity and the ethical commitment to producers. Since 2005, the Convivium Slow Food Barcelona Vázquez Montalbán has been in operation, a non-profit association that is committed to transmitting the values ​​of the movement to the entire population of Barcelona and the groups most linked to food production.

The Cittaslow movement, slow cities, which also began in Italy and has spread throughout the world, applies the same philosophy of respect for the environment and the idiosyncrasy of each city or town, improving the quality of life, supporting cultural diversity , fleeing from homogenization. Begues, Begur, or Pals are some of the examples of slow villas that we have nearby.

One of the experiences of the slow movement, which is close to us and already has a certain background, is the SlowShop Lleida, an association of shops and services whose objectives are to promote local commerce, the economic sustainability of the city of Lleida, the humanization of neighborhoods, and the creation of ties between communities and synergies between businesses.

The public policies of time, such as those promoted by the Barcelona Time Pact, share this sensitivity, that of respecting the different uses of time, in order to have a more egalitarian, healthy and efficient life. And they fit perfectly with the philosophy of slow life promoted by Carl Honoré. It is therefore, from this experience and leadership, that he is part of the Expert Lab of the Barcelona Time Use Inititive for a Healthy Society, an entity that organizes the International Time Use Week 2020 and 2021 together with the Barcelona City Council, the Diputación de Barcelona and the Generalitat de Catalunya and where more than 300 researchers, political personalities, activists and organizations on the uses of time from all over the world will participate.

The current context of exceptionality derived from the COVID19 pandemic has forced many people to change their perspective, reduce the pace and distances, and represents an opportunity to reflect, in the face of so many uncertainties, what kind of relationship we want to have with the time and its different uses.