VISEGRAD ASPECT OF FESTIVAL
The main objective of ITSelF Festival is to promote theatre culture and young talents, share experiences, bring cultures closer by gathering artists together, as well as to discuss the model of theatre education system during the Festival conference. The prestige and the scope of ITSelF increase every edition. Our initiative is supported by cultural celebrities and leading Warsaw theatres. The Festival programme includes final degree shows and associated events, such as Off Program, meetings with theatre celebrities, workshops. ITSelF has been a meeting place for theatre schools among others from the V4 countries for 17 years. Mutual relationship have been intensified. For the 10th edition, we want to make it stronger, especially by developing the cross-border exchange of art and ideas. We all want to answer the question: how to evolve the Festival formula so that it becomes a better cooperation platform? We want the Festival to be the generator of international collaboration of young artists. In this way, they can influence society through art. It requires special awareness, which cannot be simply trained in schools but is formed in lively contact with other artists from different cultures. Also, as the main aim of the festival conference is to respond to wider tendencies in the contemporary theatre among others in V4 countries starting from the institutional changes through production model and ending up on the impact of new technologies on theatre, we want to open a platform for experience exchanges between drama schools in V4 and discuss together the learning process.
- Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (Akademie múzických umění v Praze)
The Academy in Prague, and in particular the Theatre Department (DAMU), is our long-term partner. Students from this faculty were invited many times to the main competition of our Festival and participated since 2005. Their performances were always interesting for international and local public and broadened a way of thinking about contemporary theatre in the
Visegrad countries. DAMU was also involved to cooperation during the International Symposium ‘Giessen and others – Cross-disciplinary theatre education’, which was organised as a part of 9th ITSelF Festival in 2017. The symposium focused on a new paradigm of theatre studies and education system. Brano Mazuch, a professor from DAMU, was a guest of the symposium. This year, the Artistic Council of 10th ITSelF Festival decided to show their performance „Family Celebration” during the main festival competition and invited one of the professors as an expert for the conference.
2) Academy of arts in Banska Bystrica (Akadémia umení v Banskej Bystrici)
Academy of Art in Banska Bystrica is our long-term partner. Students from this faculty were invited many times to the main competition of our Festival and participated since 2005. Their performances were always interesting for international and local public and broadened a way of thinking about contemporary theatre in the V4 countries. It successfully cooperates not only with
us but also with 50 home and foreign universities and yearly participates at famous international festivals of theatre schools, also in V4 countries, what makes this academy profoundly experienced as a partner. This year, we decided to show their performance “AniMak” during the main festival competition and invited one of the professors as an expert for the conference. As “AniMak” was created by a collective work, which will be one of the main topic o our conference, we are sure that their participation is totally valuable.
3) Imaginarium (Imaginárium)
Cooperating with Imaginarium will expend Festival and the Festival conference by essential nowadays context. They will speak on the conference how art can coexist with the technology and how the theatre education is changing because of it. Imaginarium arranges cultural and educational events in the field of creative technology, design, new media and art, f.e. Sensorium Festival – the genre-defining platform addressing the future creative industry on the crossover of art and technology. As Sensorium’s mission is to build a sustainable community and design professionals, who share their skills, its contribution in the conference will be an opportunity for
theatre students and teachers to think about the theatre education in the wider context. Since 2018, Imaginarium has been working on a new V4 emerging digital artist education program. It also creates a new space of future cooperation with our academy.
4) Association of European Freelance Artists (AEFA) (Európai Szabadúszó Művészek Egyesülete (ESZME))
The mission of Association of European Freelance Artists is to target a number of groups that are less culturally relevant with high-quality puppet performances. Their members: young puppet performers, choreographers, musicians and artists in fine arts want to create more open, complex, high-quality performances and workshops. The important context for us is the fact
that members of AEFA are freelancers. It shows one of the most important aspects of the art market and is a prove that theatre education system has to be ready for it. As Kata Csato, a chairman of AEFA, graduated from Department of Puppet of our Academy in Bialystok at
acting and directing faculty, knows well the system of education both in our Academy and in Hungary, we decided to cooperate with her to expend the conference of a freelancer context in V4 countries.
5) Artopolis Association (Artopolis Művészeti és Kulturális Közhasznú Egyesület)
The mission of the Artopolis Association is organising cultural and community events focusing on site-specific art and art in public space. One of the main aims of AA is to encourage artists to work outside of the traditional places and frames of art, to shed new light on the city with artistic projects and develop a critical approach towards the use of public space. AA also inspires to having more proactive attitude in the way we think about our urban environments and our participation in public issues. We decided to invite Artopolis as a partner because it will expand the conference by the context of theatre artists in a public space. It will show that V4 schools should educate students, who are able to confront not only with pure esthetics but also with the social issues.
6) Studio Theatre in Warsaw (Teatr Studio im. Stanisława Ignacego Witkiewicza w Warszawie)
Studio Theatre is one of the most important theatre stage in Warsaw. It is also well know as an influential theatre in Central Europe. What is important for our project, this Theatre has a section called STUDIO Theatre Gallery – an open and democratic space for inventive experiments conducted by artists representing various artistic domains. The starting point for the idea of it,
was the question concerning the future of artistic theatre in Poland and Europe and, more precisely, how can it defend its position in current social, economic and political situation. This philosophy suits ideally to our conference subject.
The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.