The craziest year of my life ends, this year of the pandemic which infected the social and cultural life everywhere. Children were much too often forgotten or seen as “learning machines”. The rights of children to participate in cultural life of a society was cut down. Artists were also forgotten and cannot do their work. The life of ASSITEJ suddenly changed. Instead of an unforgettable World Congress which should have happened in May 2020 in Tokyo – we emigrated into the Digital World. We created some remarkable Coffee Sessions in order to stay in contact with you.
We worked on and launched the ASSITEJ Manifesto, which is a milestone for the organisation. It can be used and adapted for every city, every region, every country: The fight for budgets and the meaning of arts and culture AFTER the pandemic have already started and will be massive in the near future... So we need good words and ideas why theatre for young audiences is „relevant“ for the system. In the Manifesto, there are a lot of strong arguments. Let’s go and fight for the arts and the children with words and actions for the arts and the children!
We invite you to participate in the next coffee sessions on 21st January and 1st March. Please note these dates in your calendar. We will invite experts to discuss equity / equality as a global challenge. And we will hear the voices of children: How do they feel in these times? How do they cope with the crisis, with their fears? How do they see the adults’ behaviour in this crisis? What are their wishes and hopes?
The pandemic takes a lot of energy. But still we are working on the future. ASSITEJ was part of the first ever “European Theatre Forum 2020” in November, together with all the other important theatre organisations like ITI or IETM. We worked on accessibility, diversity, inclusivity and sustainability and had relevant discussion panels on these issues. This culminated in “The Dresden Declaration” which is another substantial document for political arguments within and beyond Europe. As a result of this engagement, we are now starting to work on a collaboration project together with ITI (International Theater Institute) about sustainability.
There will be a time after Covid-19. And we have to be prepared for the real challenges. We have learned a lot in 2020 – so let us look forward to a year full of hope. And hopefully with a meeting in Tokyo in March 2021!
News from ASSITEJ
20th ASSITEJ World Congress & International Performing Arts Festival for Children and Young People / MIRAI 2020: a blended physical & virtual event
ASSITEJ International & ASSITEJ Japan
The 20th ASSITEJ World Congress & International Performing Arts Festival for Children and Young People / MIRAI 2020 will take place as a blended physical (‘On Ground’) and virtual (‘Online’) event. This will mean that we will be able to provide our members with maximum accessibility to the event, whether they are able to travel in person to be with us in Tokyo, or whether they need to stay home and connect with us virtually.
The pandemic has been a great leveller on the one hand, but is has also exposed the many ways in which economic, political and social systems create and sustain disparities between peoples and between different parts of the world. ASSITEJ will explore through diverse voices, new ways to work together that may help move us towards a more equal and equitable sector.
We are happy to announce the call for international performances for Bibu and the ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering 2022!
Bibu and ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering 2022 acknowledges Indigenous peoples of the past, present and future worldwide as the custodians, inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures, worldviews and relations to land and environments.
For the international part, the Board of Directors will welcome innovative international applications that are visioned, produced and creatively led by Indigenous Performing Artists,directed towards an audience of children, youth and families.
ASSITEJ Germany‘s member theatres will host several ASSITEJ Workshops in 2021. Several festivals in Germany are making plans for spring and summer 2021. International guests will be invited to be part of these events – either offline or online.
Since 2020 ASSITEJ has a new national center in Luxembourg. After having been a corresponding membre for several years, some cultural workers have joined forces and founded the non-profit association ASSITEJLuxembourg asbl.
Support for the development of theaters for children and youth in Uzbekistan
ASSITEJ Uzbekistan held a meeting with its member in November 2020 and outlined development plans. They have found a partner – Goethe Institute in Tashkent and intend to implement a large project to develop TYA.
TYA/USA organized a week-long virtual convening, from December 7-11, 2020. How do we shift our artistic processes and business practices to a completely new format? What will remain beyond the pandemic?
The new date for the conference will be 16th-18th December 2020. The festival promises to be an intellectual harvest of ideas. It is going to be virtual so that participants can join from anywhere in the world.
Check out the upcoming festivals in the ASSITEJ network and beyond!
ASSITEJ KOREA Winter Festival – Seoul 2021
ASSITEJ Korea is trying to deliver the message of hope and positive energy to children and youth throughout the art of theatre. At this festival, we are presenting total thirteen performances, both live and via online streaming to provide the opportunities of appreciating theatre performances for national and international children. They hope the online and offline festival can brighten and highlight your winter.
A virtual advent calendar. This is the Belluno Kids project and our new program for the most magical period of the year. The calendar can be visited on www.bellunokids.it
Unfortunately facing with the impossibility of realizing any kind of event that could bring families to theatres or make them attend workshops, Belluno decided to bring many different activities directly into every family’s home.
The fourth ITYARN book, compiled from two conference events, is now released. Twelve presentations were selected from these events and together they offer a rich mosaic of research areas in Theatre for Young Audiences — inquiring into the portrayal of and performing for children with cognitive and physical disabilities, disrupting narratives on settlers and indigenous populations, connecting spectatorship and diversity, questioning the male gaze while watching girls perform, analyzing trauma and spiritual healing in TYA plays and performances, examining theatre for babies and theatre for/by/with young adults.
You can order a physical copy from ASSITEJ South Africa. The cost is R316.00 plus postage. Orders are also possible online for the epublication. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can read a chapter from the book below, by Sandra Grehn: "Performativity and the Construction of Children’s Citizenship in Backa Theatre’s Staging of Lille Kung Mattias."