As a desirable and totally pertinent continuity to the Coffee Sessions promoted by ASSITEJ International, CBTIJ/ASSITEJ Brasil has been holding a series of national and regional online meetings. These are meetings that are in line with the expansion project of our national center, which, in pre-pandemic times, suffered from the limitation of mobility fundings and the huge geographic distances among the largest Brazilian cities. Important regional centers and state capitals with intense cultural and artistic production, especially in the Northeast, North and Midwest regions, remain underrepresented in our association. With our theaters closed nationwide since early March, with no perspectives of reopening, with an increasing number of confirmed Covid-19 cases and with a dramatic death toll of over 72.000 (as of July 13th), these meetings come as a form of relief and reassurance for our community.
The first national Coffee Session – or “Roda de Conversa” – was held on June 22nd, with an amazing attendance of nearly 100 TYA professionals. Not only a chance to introduce our goals, networks and projects, this online meeting was a starting point for some local and regional meetings, which are already promoting better and more intense collaboration in our field and helping us bring out some projects. After this first “Roda de Conversa”, a more specific one was held on July 1st, gathering professionals from southernmost state Rio Grande do Sul. And on July 17th, a regional meeting will be held, now with a specific call for TYA practitioners from the three regions mentioned above. A special national committee has been assigned the task of planning follow-up activities and proposing new actions based on ideas proposed at these meetings over the following months.
In spite of the hardships of these times, CBTIJ/ASSITEJ Brasil is struggling to bring together more and more of our creative artists, researchers, producers and educators already connected to or with a special interest in TYA. Our efforts include better and more intense communication with other national networks (researchers, teachers, festivals). Amid simultaneous crises – health, political, economic, institutional – and as we head for unpredictable local elections (mayors and city councilors) in November, getting together and getting to know each other well seems to be an important step.
Image: July 17th Coffee Session card – by Luciana Comin