As you read these words of welcome, the city of Helsingborg is in the midst of its final preparations for H22 City Expo, set to be started just about a week after Bibu 2022 has been finalised. H22 (H for Helsingborg, of course) is a massive, international 35-day expo on city and welfare development, sustainability, city governance and public sector innovations, addressing contemporary challenges all cities are facing. Considering its strong focus on relevant, contemporary performances and topics pertaining to children’s and youth’s performing art, Bibu 2022 is indeed very timely, and well in keeping with the idea and ambitions of H22 City Expo.
The last two years have indeed been exceptional. Not only has the liberal way of life so many of us have previously considered as a given, been substantially restricted due to the pandemic. Moreover, just some twenty hours by car away from Helsingborg, a war is now raging, reminding us in the most brutal of ways that democratic values and human rights can never be taken for granted.
Against the backdrop of these dreadful events, we still need to find the strength and perseverance to carry on forward. For well over 2,000 years, come crises or disorders, people have been gathering in performing arts venues all over the world to get moved and carried away by stories of all sorts and fashions, imprinting new perspectives and insights on life’s big and small matters. I am convinced that this will be the case also for the coming 2,000 years. Arts and culture are as important as ever, and provide an essential guiding light towards a better and more sustainable future.
Dear participants of this year’s edition of Bibu, the mere fact that you are here constitutes yet another valuable proof of this art form’s persisting ability to unify and unite.
Thank you for your commitment in Bibu, and very welcome to Helsingborg!
*Featured Image Helsingborg. Credits: Unspalsh
Director of Cultural Affairs and CEO Helsingborg Arena & Scen