Assitej In-ForMini I The latest news from the TYA Italian community
Assitej In-Forma 2020 became Assitej In-ForMini and took place in Forlì on 22nd September 2020 in the context of the Festival Colpi di Scena.
An emotional report of the first ASSITEJ Italy live gathering in times of pandemic.
This year everything had to stop, everybody said that.
Many things, it’s true, were called off.
International gatherings and TYA festivals, which saw lots of people’s long-time preparation, had to shut their doors long before opening; everything had to be postponed a year (or maybe two years) later; all those things we thought we would have always had plenty of: events, shows, the audience, children, youngsters, summer, autumn, winter festivals… applauses, workshops, premiers.
The 2020 edition of Assitej In-Forma and the following ASSITEJ Italy General Assembly has been a memorable one: nobody was prepared, but everybody was ready.
And only after making a long list of all the activities started after Covid-19 spread, ASSITEJ Italy members, in their very first live gathering this year, limited, masked and distanced, got an idea of it.
Yes, because in the isolation of our homes, in front of our computer screens, we wouldn’t believe we could have done so much.
A special edition, a lively response to the emergency; lighter, but highly participated and rich in content. This was Assitej In-ForMini: the continuation of the important annual moment of meeting and shared learning that has been part of ASSITEJ Italy’s life since 2016. This year renamed for the occasion, it was a chance to discover and share the hard work and the deep reflections ASSITEJ members produced during the suspended time of lockdown.
In the past months, when everything had to stop, ASSITEJ Italy stimulated and enhanced the development, through its members, of four working groups, who aimed at discussing the role of TYA during and after the pandemic, with the objective of investigating new possible relationships with schools, institutions, the public and the digital spaces.
The outcomes (emerged in the feedback sessions that took place in the morning) were a rich and plural thought with crossing threads from one group to the other, that all together were recomposed in a united and unfinished dramaturgy; unfinished, as many steps have yet to be moved and all the groups want to continue their journeys…
It was on the sprouts of these seeds that the General Assembly fed in the afternoon at the end of the event. It was there that were also remembered the latest campaigns promoted by ASSITEJ Italy after the closure of theatres to raise public awareness on the importance of Theatre for Young Audiences and of all its cultural and social implications. Among them: the video TYA is… (link?); the webinar Common Trajectories, aimed at clarifying and reinforcing the rapport between TYA and Education; the Facebook and Instagram campaign We’re Open/We’re Closed, promoted after the official re-opening of theatres in Italy on June 15th; the video With a Thread (link?), a poetic promise to children and an invitation to collaborate to teachers and principals.
The enthusiastic welcome was confirmed by the high participation to all the moments proposed.
After Assitej In-ForMini ASSITEJ members turned out richer. Even materially: with the first corpus of a Small Dictionary of Theatre for Young Audiences and the basis for a TYA Manifesto, both giving voice to all professionals (older and younger ones) who work constantly to create an open, shared and accessible horizon of vision and journey.
The work of the community who is part of ASSITEJ Italy is alive, lively and vivacious. On September 22nd we had a confirmation; as if we needed any.
It’s us. Again. And we continue our journey.
Many things are still to be done and better thought over, but the fact of reflecting and acting all together (despite face masks), as parts of an artistic and cultural community of people who care for TYA in its core principles, makes us stronger individuals; individuals able to welcome all potentialities of the (however critical) moment and to give back, with kindness, measure and vigour, a new TYA for our audience.
Time, space and relation between bodies will have to be reinvented with courage and imagination.
ASSITEJ Italy is there to face the challenge.