At the last Umbrella meeting, we shared how the National Centres of ASSITEJ celebrated World Theatre Day and I was moved by the power we each have, within ASSITEJ International, to establish processes and to advocate. We are living through one of the most dramatic times for the health of the new generations, but I am convinced that this complexity we are facing can create fertile ground for dialogue.
From January 2022, I am working as project manager of the Italian Capital of Culture, Bergamo and Brescia 2023, I oversee the entire cultural offer, no longer just Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA). From this position I have been able to closely observe how politics looks at the new generations. There is an immense need for our ability to dialogue and connect with young people, especially teenagers.
I have been working on audience engagement processes for teenagers since 2016, with the TEEN project. In addition to a series of “Tips and Tricks on Teen’s engagement”, I have come to understand the potential of “transgenerational dialogue” as a ‘driver’ of *innovation and change in society*. For how I see it, adolescents, as the upcoming generation of human beings, are the most suited to bring new ideas, formats, and proposals.
We need to create a transgenerational alliance to find new strategies that can enable new ways of producing culture and renew cultural forms and languages, and this MOMENTUM may help us to set this fruitful dialogue.
The confirmation that the complex moment opens up policy makers to listening is demonstrated by the fact that the report by Voice of Culture states that “the involvement of young people in the development of policies and interventions is crucial to ensure the improvement of their mental health, well-being and social inclusion”. Another statement that I found consistent with our sector’s approach is related to the certainty that the success of creative and cultural youth mental health interventions lies in understanding the factors that determine the youth ‘ecosystem’. Unlike the other cultural sectors, we produce art by creating interconnected processes between children or teenagers, teachers, parents, and artists. The processes we design often start by connecting with the ecosystem of our audiences and establish rituals that create community.
Reading this study among stakeholders in the cultural sector from all Europe, I really thought they seem to need what we can do and have been doing in TYA for years.
And these are only a few reasons why I am sure that together we can grasp this MOMENTUM.
Together we can create a global transgenerational alliance with our TEENs, with teenagers in our communities by taking them with us, or their thoughts, or at least their VOICES to the ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering in Serbia in November this year and then… to CUBA for the World Congress in 2024!