By Kenjiro Otani, Member of the Executive Committee
TYA Asia Festival in 2018 has just finished here in Japan. The festival was held in four local cities and Tokyo for 10 days, with 10 Asian productions and 85 domestic productions, and it was probably the biggest TYA performing arts festival with the Asian focus. In a certain sense, we had planned this festival as a preparation for the 20th World Congress in 2020 so we could learn the necessary and the unnecessary, and we certainly did, reflecting on our conduct. We have also learned it is the most important that we share the philosophy that we do theatre for young audiences who live for future and this philosophy is the key to create a good team to organize a festival for the same reason why we have created our organization, ASSITEJ.
This festival was also a significant event for the Next Generation in Asia Program to compile its 3-year-activity. Through this program, we have encountered over 20 people from Asian countries and regions including, Australia, China, India, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Taiwan and over 30 people from Japan. And all of them are emerging artists who practice TYA domestically and internationally, incredibly diverse even within Asia. Even though not everybody was able to participate for the whole 3 years, as the compilation of the 3-year-program, we have created an 80-minute-performance created from inspirations of all the participants with the theme of ‘Peace Building’ for the unknown future. The performance not only has shared the tremendous potentials of diversity but also expressed compassion and empathy.
Once again, when you come back to think about creating an organization or a team for TYA, what’s most important is that we share the philosophy, that is, we do theatre for young audiences where we share empathy. The young audiences are the ones creating and living in the unknown future and proudly it has been proved that there are the Next Generation emerging artists who will be creating borderless arts for them.
Proudly the program has been and will be happening all over the world, especially in Asia this year. Right after Japan, there was one in Pakistan in March, and importantly there will be soon another one in Beijing, China, at the Artistic Gathering in August.
We, ASSITEJ, will definitely continue to nurture this wonderful Next Generation Program because we do know this activity is so significant for the step “Toward the Unknown Future”.