An incipient excitement can be felt in many theatres, cinemas and museums in France these days: the third lockdown is over now and from the 19th, the audience is able to return. The capacities in the venues and all kind of rooms are very limited (35% of the usual ones) and the COVID rules are jheavy, but arts and culture are fully back at last!
Meanwhile, in some parts of the world, artists are still deeply in the COVID crisis, as in India or in South America. The virus is still there, worse than ever and there is a terrible lack of treatment and hospital beds. In those countries, the artists suffer a lot and get little or no support. It is a time to be aware of the difficulties so many face, now and into the future.
The situations are different worldwide, from one country to another, but we all belong to the ASSITEJ community and it is a strength, that was quite visible during the 20Th Congress. The new Executive Committee of ASSITEJ knows it and it is already strongly at work. You could feel it during the eighteen hours of our first meeting(s): excitement and commitment are probably the right words to describe what was our work atmosphere.
Referring to the working plan 2021-2024 and the input from the Open Space in the 20th World Congress, we decided to build new working groups in order to deal with all the objectives and with the new challenges that the pandemic has revealed. The previous committee faced a lot of crisis situations and did a great job. Now it is our turn. There is much to do, indeed, but our first moments together online were quite strong and happy and we are very enthusiastic.
Each time the meetings begin it is 6:00 am for our treasurer, Ernie Nolan, and 9:00 pm for our president, Sue Giles. European and African EC members, we are the lucky ones : it is lunch time or so… In Iran, in South Korea, or in Pakistan, it’s a different time of course. But you can’t see it! Each EC member is already deeply involved in his/her work, putting all his/her energy and ideas in it, whatever the time is.
Among all the issues we will work on, the main ones are equity, diversity, sustainability, advocacy, inclusivity, connectivity… and the World Theatre Day, the Coffee Sessions, the support of the National Centres and the artists, the Artistic Gathering in Sweden in 2022…
Wondering what will come from our first steps? Wait for the dramaturgy we’re currently building – It will be in the June newsletter…
From the EC’s virtual meeting space,
Emilie Robert, member of the Executive Committee of ASSITEJ