RMLL 2017

Libre et change

Eeach year the FSM gather thousands of free software and libre culture actors in a dialogue with a large public. This year, we wish to bring the energies of the Libre community worldwide around Freedom And Change[^*].

[^*]: In French, "libre et change" is a pun on "libre-échange" (free trade).

This common theme carries the contradiction of the promise, always delayed and never accomplished, of the ’free trade’ economy that, like the promise of democracy or the Human Rights Charter, presupposes the equality of actors and chances. Despite the paradox of this egalitary will confronted to a completely different reality, with increasing inequalities and more obvious existential threats, the contribution of free software, both marginal in the respect of its ethical choices, and increasingly dominating the network technical infrastructure, demonstrates that it’s not only possible but desirable to insist on the possibilities and coherence of an ethical discourse on freedom and the technical infrastructure fostering it.

FSM 2017

FSM 2017 follows a reduced edition in Paris, 2016, limited to the booming aspects, in a control society more and more terrified, of security, only able to offer the means of resistance to those who can see, beyond the fatalist discourse of power overtaken by events, the failures of an inadequate system and the means to bypass them, proper to the hacker spirit.

Such loss of impetus, or such quelling of freedom in a global atmosphere of threats to life won’t surprise anyone. So, to bring back momentum and breath to our aspiration for a technology that integrates with human communities and sustains them, instead of restricting or negate them, we decided to draw our resources from the melting pot of a city rich in such contradictions, whose history grew with the mining and military industries, all destined to technique for its efficiency, and who nowadays got wiser in adopting a transversal perspective of design.

Standing firm on these two supports, well settled in locality, we can then welcome a worldwide gathering with a dimension beyond a simple resistance to "terrorist pressure", restrictions, and "communalist" recoils to confront them with strength and pay hommage to the technical and collective powers of free software, that can develop ways of reconciliation between technical and human development.

Hommage to Gilbert Simondon

Among major thinkers of our times, Saint-Étienne-born Gilbert Simondon disrupted the outlook of our contemporaries on technique as well as on the individual and the collective (with his notions of transindividual and transduction). If the influence of his thought remains marginal we must realize its depths and the new instruments to understand the tensions in our society so influenced by technological inventions.

Specialists of the thought of Simondon will enlighten the singularity of free software in our time all captivated by efficiency for itself, and remind us how much the path taken affects the significance of the produced objects.

Saint-Étienne Creative City of Design

FSM 2017 will take place at the Design City and in the buildings of Télécom Saint-Étienne. This year the city of Saint-Étienne carries the flame of UNESCO’s Creative City of Design, a prestigious program that we intend to illustrate. A small visit to the Design City website will replace the aesthetical orientation of this year’s program in a larger scope than usually understood by the term often restricted to the domain of the arts: we intend to re-establish the social and citizen dimension of aesthetics, and contribute to a vision of free software in this sense. Considering the Libre aesthetics as engagement, participation, and cooperation, we want to insist on the central role that free technologies production must take in the evolution of everyday life, embracing a hybridization of the living and the technological according to citizen perspectives.

Following the tenth Biennal of Design of Saint-Étienne, whose common theme considers the "mutations of labor", we will envision the powers of Libre to contribute to the well-being and the transformation of society—a humane society built on ethical values of sharing of knowledge and the means of production at the heart of the Libre Movement.

Contribute to FSM 2017

We decided on 8 transversal topics to encourage a broad variety of submissions that are inscribed in the different sectors where free software operates. The public can discover and question the importance of stakes often unknown beyond concerned circles, and solutions to these issues brought forward by the Libre Movement.

Rupture & Continuity

In addition to traditional conferences (and lightning talks), workshops and the Community Village, we invite you to submit more participative interventions such as the expression of cooperative needs, exhibitions, performances, and a professional show. We also programmed early-evening shows to discover artists engaged in the Libre Movement.

Evening Parties

Every evening of the LSM, we’ll invite you to celebrate Libre and free culture in evening parties (6-8pm). There will be : free movies (screening), free music (concerts) and free theatre. One evening will be dedicated for the "Meal of the Libre", a regular rendez-vous of the LSM.

Cooperative Needs

These are ways to make bridges between cooperative practices and offers of software support (work in progress or documentation). For starters there will be Lightning Talks and a Post Market.

Lightning Talks are quick 5 minute presentations to engage a conversation on a very specific topic with the public. When the 5 minutes are over, the speaker can go talk with interested persons elsewhere, since another speaker will take his place for his own 5 minutes. Lightning Talks will take place every afternoon from 2pm to 5pm. Registrations will be on site, opening in the morning for the afternoon’s talks.

The Classified Ads Market will be a place where project’s carriers can publish their contact information and their needs, in order to look for new people to help and enrich their projects. This is aimed at:

  • software developpers from interdependent projects,
  • users with specific needs, like writing documentation or enhancing a project,
  • professionals who want to use free software and need help doing it,
  • institutions or companies who want to invest into a long-term infrastructure,
  • many others...

Professional Fair

Libre Professionals, we invite you to come and share your methodology and the issues you are facing while trying to expand and promote use of free software. We would like to know what are your goals and aspirations and how you deal working with and around free software with regard to citizen and cooperative movements, as well as institutions and businesses. You will have the opportunity to meet financial backers, lawyers, and many service providers who can facilitate the integration of free software in your organization. Your users and customers will be able to chat directly with your engineers, designers, etc.

The Road is Long AND the Way is Free

Meet participants from Africa, Asia, Americas, and of course Europe at FSM 2017. They may be prestigious or unknown, programmers, engineers, philosophers, scientists, artists, and citizens.

Thank you for your attention, and see you in Saint-Étienne next July!