"There's no such thing as a free lunch," the old saying goes. The new Moving Docs film Free Lunch Society looks into the viability of an unconditional basic income for everyone.
Now we've got some free books to go with the free lunch. Yet again, nothing's really for free... You'll need to tell us in one sentence what you'd do if your basic needs were taken care of by receiving a basic income from the state.
Tell us and win a book: what would you do if you had a citizen's basic income?
Would you quit your job? Pursue your long life dream of becoming a professional drummer? Make no changes and put the extra money in your mattress?
In old factory towns, former mining villages, urban slums and rural hamlets across Europe, a shared disillusionment with the political establishment has grown to a level that hasn’t been seen for over a century.
The people who inhabit such places, whatever European nation they happen to reside in, are overwhelmingly those who lost out when the post-war economic settlement was dismantled and deregulated in the 1980s.
Often geographically and socially isolated, they find themselves on the losing side of globalisation. In contrast, the elites live in a cluster of metropolitan cities that are ever more interchangeable: populated by highly mobile, highly skilled workers. These people are the winners in today’s great game of connection, the AirBnB landlord, the frequent Uber customer.
We might ask what, if anything, could unite these two groups? Even if it were possible to take the coder running a startup in East London and transplant her to the Welsh valleys, or the Barcelona PR specialist and ask him to operate out of a rapidly depopulating coal mining town in Asturias, there would still be the far bigger challenge of bridging the divide between the centre and the periphery of the wider European economy.
Recent years have seen a flurry of activity in media studios and government offices aimed at weighing up the pros and cons of basic income. Today, across Europe and North America, a number of countries are taking steps to launch investigate pilot schemes.
There is no shortage of backing for such initiatives, from a wide variety of sources. From the French Senate to the Italian city of Livorno, from the New Zealand Labour Party to the Namibian village of Otjivero – we can see new a will to experiment with basic income.
But despite the diverse spread of interest in making basic income a reality, the challenges, even of mounting a pilot scheme, are often formidable.
With a brand new selection of compelling documentaries and exciting campaigns ahead, the innovative doc screening and promotion platform Moving Docs is launching its next instalment. Upcoming highlights include the pan-European release of Christian Tod's Free Lunch Society and a photo competition in connection with the film Dolphin Man by Lefteris Charitos.