ASSITEJ unites theatres, organisations and individuals throughout the world who make theatre for children and young people. ASSITEJ is dedicated to the artistic, cultural and educational rights of children and young people across the globe and advocates on behalf of all children regardless of nationality, cultural identity, ability, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion. ASSITEJ brings people together so that they can share knowledge and practice within the field of theatre for children and young people in order to deepen understandings, develop practice, create new opportunities and strengthen the global sector. The members of ASSITEJ are national centres, professional networks, and individuals from around 100 countries across the world.
Intolerable events have occurred all too frequently recently. One of these was the surprise attack on the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris in response to the publication of a caricature of Muhammad, the founder of Islam. There was a mass demonstration to protest against this attack on freedom of speech and the murderers were run down and killed. The company printed a new issue of the magazine in protest and it was immediately sold out. Nor is this all, the violence keeps escalating as we see the Islam extremists acting in Belgium. Those who protest say, "Firing bullets against a mere caricature is unthinkable, it violates freedom of speech", and applaud. But I say it is not that simple. What historical and social conditions led to these actions? Of course, freedom of speech should not be the target of bullets. Having acknowledged that as a self-evident truth, I'd like to say we should have the creative ability to have an insight into the history behind the bullets.