More? Slow is Beautiful

February 13, 2023

Over 110 people gathered to hear speakers and artists at the Night of Ideas 2023 held on February 1. This annual event takes place in 200 cities initiated by French embassies around the world with local partners. In Vancouver, organizers from the French Consulate, PWIAS, and Alliance Francaise, developed the theme of More? Slow is Beautiful, to encourage participants to consider how acceleration in our current society or in their respective field has impacted behaviour, emotional state and imagination, and how the notion of slowness may provide an antidote.

Nicolas Baudouin, Consul General of France in Vancouver

Nicolas Baudouin welcomed guests to the Night of Ideas (La Nuit des Idées) which celebrates its 8th anniversary this year…”our aim is to provide a space for free and open exchange of knowledge and ideas, by bringing together in one evening, people from different backgrounds to reflect on the fundamental challenges of today, and tomorrow.”

Azul Carolina Duque singing Cuerpo Immenso (Immense Body)

From Cuerpo Immenso (Immense Body) – “One metabolic body (the earth) / with broken bones / in between the silences I notice / How we are addicted to the power / and to the pleasure / of denying that my abundance / is the cause of so much scarcity…” Azul Carolina Duque, PWIAS Catalyst Artist 2022-23

Brendan McLeod, Author, Friends Without Bodies

“Since the climate crisis is urgent, we should mobilize for it as if for war, which will prompt both individual and collective action; the slowness comes in at the processing point. I had better luck making changes in my own life, when I was patient with myself and took the time to understand the hard truth of our situation – with all the inevitable deflections and denials this problem necessitates.” – Brendan McLeod

John Desnoyers-Stewart artist and researcher

“A flicker of inspiration…an experiment drawing triangles across the body. [Slowing down provided] a unique opportunity to follow intuitive inspiration where it led me rather than adhere to a predetermined project. What potential discoveries lay waiting in the virtual trash bin? What happens when we can explore a glimmer of inspiration deeply?” – John Desnoyers-Stewart

Photos by: Tim Mah & Veronica Relano
Video produced by: Daniel Lins da Silva