As artists in some countries are able to start working others are not in such a lucky position: to have support from governments, to have work possibilities, to be in touch with children in schools or in theatres.
ASSITEJ has just received a heartbreaking report from ASSITEJ India member Imran Khan who makes a passionate appeal for support and connection at this time.
Here are words from Imran Kahn.
The Executive Committee of ASSITEJ
Thank you very much for your email and remembering us in your thoughts in these difficult times. I don’t know where to start my email from, while the whole world is battling the Covid, the second wave in India has been no less than an apocalypse. You must have seen the videos on the internet and news reports of the situation in India. There is a virus, but there is no medicine, no hospital beds and no oxygen.
The nation wide cities and states are under full lock down: that means no work, no money and no food. Since 2020 no government has supported the artists community even for their livelihood let alone their artistic practice. By January 2021 we had thought that things would become normal and live performances would restart but now once again things have been pushed further at least for another 6 months at least. The government fears a third wave of the virus spreading and if that happens, we have no clear vision how the artists community will survive. While urban artists like me are still able to get something as we are familiar with modern technology and can do some work online, artists from small cities and rural areas are in the worst condition.
The artists’ community, some international trusts and civic societies have been doing different fundraisers to support them, now they have exhausted in one year with whatever is available with them. For example in 2020 Theatre I entertainment hosted Pitara-International TYA festival (Online) to support these artists financially so that they can restart their artistic practice. We identified two artists for the same as we could raise only that much money that we could support only two of them. But now we have to divert those funds to support the livelihood of 8-10 individuals. As survival has become the first priority over practice. There are three priorities as of now for us to create for them….
- Support for medical expenses to those artists suffering from Pandemic.
- Support for livelihood (Food shelter etc)
- Help them to restart their artistic practice
Dear Friends, we really need support from anyone and everyone in achieving things above. It’s something that we have to do together, we need to stand with each other, we are so much surrounded by our own problems we don’t even know how our colleagues in Developing countries or underdeveloped countries are surviving.
If nothing, at least we can talk to each other and give some hopes to each other because that’s what we also need most. Once again Thank you very much for your kind concern and reaching out to us. I really hope to meet you all someday, touch you, hug you and laugh with you.