Dear friends and colleagues all over the world,
the ASSITEJ World Congress 2014 is up and running and the Austrian delegation is excited to once more attend this great and unique opportunity to meet a wonderful variety of theatre makers, dancers, musicians and countless other like-minded people, traveling to Poland to discuss the status quo and the future of theatre for young audiences.
As a network of performing artists producing for children and youngsters, ASSITEJ Austria strives to uphold critical, artistic discourse in numerous events, fighting for possibilities to grant children and young adults access to first-class art – performance art which does not merely understand its audience as tomorrow’s regular visitors but defies all educational mandates and syllabi using the productive restlessness of artistic power and, by doing so, makes the big goals of cultural education that constitute the essence of up-to-date cultural politics come true virtually by themselves.
Being convinced that no artistic aesthetics can progress without thinking out of the box, we’re constantly looking for international and -cultural exchange: Cross-border projects like the trans-European Festival of Young Playwrights Interplay Europe, a tutor-guided, professional meeting of about 30 young authors from more than 15 European countries taking place in July in Bregenz; or last year’s International Meeting in Linz which brang together theatre people from all over the world in mind-broadening workshops, discussions and other encounters; or the participation in the new Regional ASSITEJ Network, which was founded last September in Ljubljana (Slovenia) together with six other countries from Eastern and Southern Europe, are just a few of the many international ventures ASSITEJ Austria is trying its best to make come true.
Of course, we all know that it’s a hard and difficult, yet necessary struggle to make possible and uphold all these big goals. Fighting for acknowledgement among politicians and cultural officers, raising national and international funds and convincing sponsors and investors of the necessity of a TYA is a tough job to handle, requiring rigid persistence and the ability to deal with ever recurring setbacks without losing confidence. Facing very small and slow, yet continuous steps forward can be discouraging, even frustrating for some, but it can also be a big and exciting (and finally rewarding) challenge for others.
The Austrian delegation is truly happy to be in Warsaw this year and will do everything possible to play a part in all the upcoming, exciting discussions awaiting us throughout the next week.
I’m looking forward to meeting you all in Warsaw and cordially invite you once again to attend our Austrian Reception on May 26th!
Christoph Thoma candidates for the ASSITEJ Executive Committee 2014. Read his full speech.