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“Amapola”, the hatching of an ecological and feminist festival in Île-de-France

The emblem of this newborn festival? The poppy. “Because it’s one of the first plants to regrow when a field is converted to organic farming. And because its bright red hue is reminiscent of female menstruation, little highlighted in everyday life.” For Sylvia and Yvan de la Baume, the audacious spirit of their event lies in the seven letters of its name: Amapola (which means poppy in Spanish). After a flourishing first edition in 2021, the thousand festival-goers will find enriching concerts, workshops and performances on July 29, 30 and 31. Forty-eight hours of feminist and ecological cocoon in the wood of Gazeran, in the Yvelines.

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Almost three years ago, the idea was born in the minds of the big sister (28 years old) and the little brother (26 years old) from Yvelin. After several summers organizing mini-festivals “with and for friends”, “in fields from right to left”says Yvan de la Baume, the desire to take things to the next level germinates. “A year after #MeToo, it became obvious to be able to bring together as many different people as possible to carry and transmit these values ​​of feminism, but also of ecology”, remembers Sylvia de la Baume. The inspiration of the Burning Man festival in Nevada is claimed, in particular for its creative freedom. Hampered somewhat by the health crisis, the poppy hatched two years later.

On the program for Amapola 2022? Not one, but two stages (“Oeil de paon” and “Capsule radieuse”) for around twenty emerging artists, stretching the musical spectrum from disco to rock, via pop and house. And even a third stage (“Calliope”) for performances ranging from a play devoted to sexual violence to stand-up, including a cabaret, and a selection of workshops scattered throughout the festival: making a male contraceptive ring , “fresco of sexism”, botanical stroll… An offer for all tastes and desires.

The Fanfare Poil O'Brass during the first edition of the Amapola festival in 2021, in the Gazeran wood.   (Samuel Flambard & Matthieu Alinot)

To link all this cultural programming, four theoretical values ​​sit enthroned on amapolafestival.com: commitment, art, conviviality and consent. In practice, actions follow. Parity is 100% respected within the artists programmed as well as in their remuneration. All the infrastructures are the fruit of their constructions and their recoveries and a “brigade of consent” made up of volunteers will carry out rounds every evening. Yvan de la Baume proudly affirms it: “Whatever the action, the logistics, it must respect these ecological and/or feminist values”.

This organization, the sister and the brother assume it in parallel with their everyday professional lives. The first officiates as event manager at Empow’her, an international network of organizations dedicated to the social and economic empowerment of women. The second holds a management position in the company Virvolt, which specializes in the electrification of bicycles. Throughout the year, the preparation is therefore based on a collective of about fifteen people, reinforced for a few weeks by other “good friends” and a technical team. And above all, more than 100 volunteers during these 48 hours. “A great human and united adventure”smiles Sylvia de la Baume.

A make-up session by Paillettes d'amour during the first edition of the Amapola festival in 2021, in the Bois de Gazeran.   (Samuel Flambard & Matthieu Alinot)

Despite the time and energy spent, there is no doubt among the siblings: their commitments are part of a movement that seems to be spreading. Slowly but surely. “We do not at all pretend to think that we are at the initiative of these ideas”begins Yvan. “But we recognize certain things, certain values, in other festivals, such as the use of inclusive writing, or the mention of consent”, completes Sylvia de La Baume. While acknowledging that the fight around these values ​​is not yet won. The co-organizer blows. “As far as feminism is concerned, there is still a long way to go. 500 or 10,000 festival-goers, for example, I would love for other festivals to follow us on joint programming.”

The Amapola festival will take place from Saturday July 29 at 8 p.m. (last entry 11 p.m.), until Sunday July 31 at 6 p.m. All exits are final. Access: 15 minutes on foot from Gazeran station (on the TER Paris-Chartres) Consult the program here.

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