The Umundu Lx 2020 festival took place from 9 to 17 October 2020 in several venues, most of them free of charge, in Lisbon and Algés, and also online.

The launch of the Umundu Lx 2020 Festival, in the auditorium of the Pedro Nunes Secondary School, set the tone for the entire festival. In front of more than 70 spectators, the Portuguese premiere of the documentary “Chasing Ice” followed the presentation of the festival and the urgent need for its existence. The film reveals the experience of James Balog, photographer of the National Geographic magazine, who in the spring of 2005 visited the Arctic, where, during the following years, he collected irrefutable evidence of the rapid global transformation, developing and using photographic equipment capable of withstanding the extreme local weather conditions to capture sequential images of both spectacular and frightening changes.

Then, the UmundUrbano weekend was dedicated to sustainability in an urban context (October 10 and 11), with debates, lectures, exhibitions, book launches, films, and workshops. The Umundu Week (12-16 October) continued to explore the theme of sustainable transformation of society in the context of climate change, loss of biodiversity and the biophysical limits of the planet.

The festival ended with MercadUmundu in the Garden of Príncipe Real, on 17 October, where 32 exhibitors presented individual and collective projects for ecological production and fair trade. It was not only a time to get to know products that are more planet-friendly, but most of all to share information and to learn about initiatives that are promoting the transformation of eating habits, consumption, energy and water use, production and resilience to climate change.

The Umundu Lx 2020 Festival for Sustainable Transformation was organised by a collective of more than 20 volunteers and the result of 12 months’ work.

Despite the unfavourable conditions for the festival, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of people attended 103 events, including 58 face-to-face, 37 online and 8 hybrid (face-to-face + online), promoted by more than 100 organizations, with an average of 30 people per event.

Throughout the event, the message of an urgent change in our lifestyle based on the infinite growth of the exploitation of the planet’s resources, the peoples of the global South and the inhabitants of the peripheries of the global North was always present, accompanied by the production of mountains of waste and the emission of greenhouse gases.

We realise that there are ways we can – and must – go in order to rethink and redesign the societies in which we live to be more resilient in the face of climate change and all environmental, social and economic problems. In addition, during the festival, the initiatives of the promoting organisations have shown that it may be possible for societies to play a role in regenerating nature.

Thus, the Umundu Lx 2020 festival has provided the kickoff for urgent debate and networking, promoting discussion on the issue of sustainable transformation and the ways to achieve it. We will continue the work.

The 2021 edition of the Umundu Lx Festival is already under consideration and will take place during next year. We will have news soon.

The IMVF, as part of the #ClimateOfChange campaign, supported the organization of the 1st edition of the Umundu Lx Festival.

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