The Tunisian capital resembles London’s Hyde Park as thousands of anti-capitalism groups have gathered to tackle a wide range of interconnected social ills that persist worldwide.
Over 70,000 participants representing an impressive diversity of people and social movement sectors from around the globe are taking part in the 14th edition of the World Social Forum (WSF).
Set on the campus of El Manar University in the capital Tunis, WSF participants are milling about the stalls, tents, workshops and seminars debating the key issues of our times and how to achieve social justice at local, national, regional and international levels.
The participants at this festival of ideas and discussions debate topics that impact a number of social causes ranging from poverty to literacy to gender equality in a bid to draw a shared procedural vision of emancipation and diversity.
The participants pride themselves on being global actors in building a better world based on a participatory and democratic process.
They also put out an inspiring message that the WSF is not only a gathering and networking bonanza, but also a space that affirms solidarity with the world living in profound crises where nearly half of the global population - more than three billion people - live on less than $2.50 a day.
According to UN agencies and World Bank figures, around 805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat, and millions more children are living in poverty.
The increasing violent conflicts, wars and economic crises have laid bare the dark sides of global capitalism, leading the majority of WSF participants to blame social problems on the power of global capital and the institutions that serve it.
Since the first edition of the WSF, which took place in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 2001, the annual event has dramatically expanded to include local, national and continental advocacy groups and activists.
The WSF has also proven to have grown in popularity with many editions bringing in over 100,000 participants.
The Forum, however, has so far failed to come up with alternative systems to globalisation.
It is not clear how this time the participants’ shared vision can move from rhetoric to action.
Nevertheless, the WSF has shown that there are people who create a loud and resounding voice in striving for a better world based on awareness-building and social mobilisation.
Source: Al Jazeera