THE Inkululeko Yabatsha School of Arts (Iyasa) is the only African representative at a special edition of the Korkczak Festival in Warsaw, Poland, which has brought together over 150 performances from all continents of the world.
The special festival is running concurrently with the 18th Assitej World Congress which started last week on Friday and ends on Saturday.
Assitej is an international organisation that unites theatres, organisations and individuals throughout the world dedicated to theatre for children and young people. The Assitej World Congress is the most important meeting of all members of the Assitej International Association, which takes place every three years.
The Congress is a time to evaluate the three previous years of work and to plan future developments in theatre for and by young people in the world.
The last Assitej World Congress in Copenhagen and Malmő gathered 1 600 participants while the Warsaw edition has seen almost 2 000 practitioners and specialists taking part from all over the world and with all continents well represented.
The motto of the 2014 edition is “Facing the audience: Theatre for Children and Young People, which understand the changes its viewers are undergoing follows them and reacts to them.
“Special focus is being given to the following three themes: theatre for the very youngest, Theatre for teenagers and the inclusive theatre (created by representatives of socially excluded groups and directed to the wide audience),” Nkululeko Dube, the founder and artistic director of Iyasa, told Southern Eye Lifestyle from Warsaw, yesterday.
“Arts directors, producers and performers are gathered in Poland to promote the international exchange and practice in the arts and increase creative co-operation that deepens mutual understanding between all persons involved in performing arts by and for young people. This year’s congress has also challenged participants to write local yet play global,” Dube said.
He revealed that his Bulawayo based group are the only African representatives at the congress festival with their children’s performance Sleep well sweet moon.
Last year the group was nominated for an international award for this production and they came second out of seven nominated performances losing out to a performance from Brazil.
Other performances are from Austria, Canada, Hungary, Denmark, Australia, Russia, Japan, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Israel, Mexico, The Netherlands, Russia, Serbia, Norway, Great Britain, France, Italy, Slovakia and Hungary, among others.