Welcome to the Online ASSITEJ Magazine “Reflecting on 2020: Diversity.”
This is a different kind of magazine – each part of it a unique contribution from another part of the globe – that allows us to reflect back on the experiences of the year that has been. As we walk “towards the unknown future”, that prescient title chosen four years ago to guide our thinking for this term of ASSITEJ engagements, we celebrate the rich diversity of our global family and our collective resilience in adversity.
This addendum to the original magazine which will be printed on the ground in Japan, looks at how we have pivoted in response to the pandemic, and dives into some of the initiatives and approaches that have allowed us to do so. It gives us a taste of the new ways of working that have tested our ingenuity and our resilience in the past year, and it celebrates both the light-hearted and serious sides to the work we are doing under such vastly different circumstances.
I would personally like to thank the Publications and Promotions Working Group for their exceptional work on this and many other projects over this four year period. Thank you to Tatiana Bobrova, Francois Fogel, Seok-hong Kim, and Manon van de Water for their extraordinary efforts to ensure that we are able to reflect on the work we have done – as an organisation, as members and as artists. Each one of them has played a crucial role in defining how people experience ASSITEJ through the words and images we share about our work.
Enjoy the compelling variety that this magazine has to offer.
From the Editors
Welcome to the Online ASSITEJ Magazine “Reflecting on 2020: Diversity.” This is an extra edition with commissioned entries by the editors. We felt it was important to reflect on the unprecedented events of 2020, looking at what we lost, how we survived, and what we gained globally.
All of us were forced to reinvent and reimagine and no one knew for how long. Early on in Spring 2020 Olga Zaets, with the support of ASSITEJ Russia, took the initiative to launch an on-line International TYA Festival with viewing and discussing performances between young theatre artists and professionals. This model was taken, reimagined, and expanded upon in many other parts of the world and in teaching TYA, now on-line.
Beth Juncker, Danish specialist in Child Culture and Children’s Culture from an aesthetic perspective, talks about the present and future of children’s culture and the impact of the pandemic on children’s experiences.
Squid Starts a Revolution is a quirky collectively written play facilitated by ASSITEJ South Africa which deals with another crisis: climate change. We are offering here the first 8 acts, each written by a different playwright and a reflections by Fay Kabali-Kagwa, Karin Serres, and others from the collective.
Seok-hong Kim has gathered telling pictures of how we adapted and worked during the pandemic, focusing on Asia and Oceania.
And finally, Boomer Stacey Director of IPAY, gives us a personal perspective on how he experiences diversity and inclusion and a call for action.
Lack of time made it impossible to create a whole new magazine and this is a supplement to the 2020 ASSITEJ Magazine that was published online in May 2020, available here, and is printed in Japan in March 2021. This is a snapshot of what we faced in the past year: a pandemic, growing climate concerns, protests that call for action, concern for children and youth and culture as we knew it. And initiatives like an online, interactive magazine, that offers different opportunities; festivals with watch parties and zoom Q&As, and this unique ASSITEJ World Congress and Festival over 18 time zones and 6 continents.
No matter what, we will never forget.
Manon van de Water
Olga Zaets | Russia
Interviewed by Manon van de Water (ASSITEJ EC)