Due to the Corona restrictions, the event was hybrid online and offline, with participants in the space at Pasinger Fabrik and online in Zoom. Marianne and I were part of the organisation team, taking the role of online chat moderators along with Elsa Büsing. The summary report is now available online.
The event was introduced by Axel Tangerding from Meta Theater and MCeed by Jaqueline (Gaston Florin) who provided entertaining interludes and magic tricks that highlighted themes emerging from the talks. After the keynotes, we separated into smaller discussion groups, including three breakout rooms on Zoom, each with one of the themes of Europe, Diversity or Future. Jana Korb (who is also part of the Magdalena network and has performed at our festivals) was the moderator of the Diversity group. I was in the Europe group, moderated by IETM Secretary General Ása Richardsdóttir, with participants located in Brussels, Basel, Amsterdam, Warsaw and myself in Munich. We discussed trans-European solidarity and in particular the situation in Poland, where artists are coming under increasing political oppression. I thought about the group Teraz Poliz, who performed at the Magdalena festival in Frankfurt in September, and who are part of the EU-funded project “Women Performing Europe”, along with women artists from Theater Antagon (Germany), Teatro Nucelo (Italy) and Odin Teatret (Denmark). This is one example of how the Magdalena network can work in solidarity with artists in times of crisis.
The report includes a summary of the conclusions of the meeting and concrete steps including a European-wide media campaign highlighting the importance of theatre and a framework to support trans-European exchange and mobility. From my perspective, both Magdalena and my other main project, UpStage, are actively demonstrating this exchange and mobilty.
Helen Varley Jamieson