BETWEEN UTOPIA AND DISSIDENCE
When the mega machine stops.
And then it dropped. On 20 April 2020, the price of oil dipped below zero for the first time in history. It wasn’t the only world record caused by Covid-19. In no more than a few months, a nasty virus succeeded in doing what global protest marches and general strikes couldn’t do so far: slowing down our planet. Correction: slowing down all human activity on this planet.
GOING BACK TO ‘BUSINESS AS USUAL’ WOULD BE A CRIME.
Suddenly, we remember, as a society meaning of ‘economy’: to support life. Not to make a profit at any price. Let us use this ‘momentum’ as a dress rehearsal for great challenges we are facing today: more justice, sustainability... Going back to business as usual would be a crime and an insult to so many people who have lost someone loved. We too, as artists, need to redefine our practice. We need to rethink our relationship with our public, with our fellow citizens, with the world.
THE CLASSIC MISTAKE IN THE GREEK TRAGEDY: THINKING THAT YOU ARE DONE WITH THE PAST.
We thought we knew past – we don’t. We thought we could control the present - we can’t. We thought we could plan future – we have to think again. It’s the classic mistake in the Greek tragedy: thinking you are done with past, but the past is not finished with you. So, let us remain humble and ambitious. Let us work out new rules for global solidarity. Let us ask difficult questions and come up with answers. Why do we do what we do? Why?
Let's start again.
WE COMMAND, WE DEMAND, WE PLEAD, WE YIELD, WE CHALLENGE, WE PROVOKE, WE DARE, WE CLAIM, WE NAME, WE CONDEMN, WE DISRUPT, WE EVOKE, WE INITIATE, WE RESIST.
It’s the most profound question we can ask ourselves. Why is this art form so unique, so indispensable? From classical theatre to performance and contemporary dance, from activism to political performativity of everyday life... More makers and intellectuals from all continents have answered us with short essays, memories, manifestos, letters. We present the answers in a new Golden Book - the fifth in the series.
School of Resistance
We have reversed the social and artistic isolation of the global lockdown and started a series of online conversations with artists, intellectuals and scientists. By investing in the post-capitalist debate, we want to recapture the future: by sharing new insights and out of the box thinking by international experts in change.
A NEW PRACTICE.
We want to turn the ideas and strategies we collect in our discussions and publications into actions. In the city of Ghent, in connection with our fellow citizens. How do we organise more inclusion in our rooms, a wider representation on our stages, a greener practice? How do we reduce our ecological footprint while touring? These are challenges we embrace, together with our partners. And in dialogue with our audience, live and online.
Let’s start again.