This autumn I have had the great privilege to attend speak at two important ASSITEJ events in very different parts of the world. The first one was the International Drama Salon held in Beijing in conjunction with the China Children’s Theatre Festival in late August. The second one was the In-Forma event held by ASSITEJ Italy in Bologna at the beginning of September. Both events were very well organized also, I’m happy to say, well attended by local TYA artists.
It is something very special to be able to travel from between countries continents each time be welcomed by people who are truly passionate about their art, committed to creating important work for young audiences are generous open towards their fellow artists from around the world. ASSITEJ is not only a strong vibrant network of TYA professionals but a closely knit community – a global family.
At both events – In China Italy – vibrant important discussions took place: Discussions about advocacy of TYA, about the rights of all children to enjoy art, about international mobility of artists, about language, about content, about context and… how we can make it possible to meet share our experiences more often. Because once we are together, we can all feel how much we need want to meet, talk share.
The Drama Salon and In-Forma both captured the true spirit of ASSITEJ. They managed to be forums for honest open discussions between artists, strengthening the underlying sense of community.
In Italy I heard the word ‘noi’ used several times during the final day’s summaries, often with a strong emphasis from the speakers. When I asked my translator what it meant, she told me it was the word for ‘we’. -it all made sense to me. Because the true gain of this first event of its kind held by ASSITEJ Italy, was this bold strong sense of ‘NOI’ which I think everybody who was present could feel.
NOI – 我们 – VID – WE are stronger together than apart. Wherever we are in the world.