On March 23nd and 25th the Survival Expo was held in Paris, in rather confidential fashion. Survival? But war hasn’t been declared -yet… According to its organizers, it is not so much about facing a nuclear disaster or a pandemic of some kind as it is about learning how to live a more environmentally-friendly life. Autonomy and sustainability was its sub-headline. Why not? Among the proposed workshops one could find Struggle and survival in the mountains or The individual’s place in a group under degraded conditions, as well as other survival workshop proposals. Sure. In the aisles, human-sized safes and bulletproof vests competed with the most unlikely of knife makers.
At stake, our relationship with nature, our consuming habits and more generally all of the imagery that inhabits our minds today: both extremes are being represented. Delicatessens rub elbows with low-cost brands, the natural enters into matrimony with the industrial, the flaunted femininity of beauty bloggers meets the movement for gender neutrality and the trumpian man hangs out with his younger brother a la Eddy de Preto. Such is society. Why would nature escape the rule?
On one side, magnanimous nature, all pollen and sweet honeybees, between milk jugs and local farmers. On the other, rebellious nature (for having taken too many punches?) looking to throw some back and putting us in the position of having to survive. A side of nature still underrepresented, its dark side, nonetheless full of promise… Couldn’t it lead us towards new forms of consumption, less wasteful and more responsible? Devices that keep produce fresh for longer, water filters, home wind turbine kits and even flint stones as invitations to renew our everyday lives. Aquaponics, permaculture, autonomous urban farms and freeze-dried food are already realities. First aid is more familiar to us now than it was yesterday. The spirit of survivalism is already among us without us realizing it.
What if we looked at our everyday lives thinking that everything around us could disappear or decline? Enter Survivor marketing.