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After what seemed like a lifetime away, 2022 came strong with all of us meeting in presence, in numbers that I am certain thrilled festival organizers worldwide. How exciting to meet in person and experience performing arts in the same room with artists and public, something I am sure no one takes for granted anymore!

Most festivals brought forward the climate emergency, and the call for an awareness of our practices in a sustainable way and especially inviting a reflection on how to approach a more sustainable international work. It does not need to be a contradiction, as we can observe in a number of international collaborations created in the past months, combining the digital competences we all acquired during the pandemic period, and actual work in each country, some of which I was privileged to participate in.

The greater good in international networking is literally to create platforms in order to share information. We are all so glad to see that most festivals that returned to a presential edition, kept part of its program digitally as well, giving affordable access to professionals but also to children globally, something unimaginable 3 years ago. A wider community is able to connect, experience work, be inspired and of course, network.

The professionalization of filming performing arts on stage or creating/adapting work for film, especially of dance productions has opened one more channel for reaching our public everywhere, widening access to performing arts further. The number of international film collaborations is growing, and this also has an impact in exhibitions and archives, opening new spaces to document and share our work.

In terms of sustainable touring, I would like to mention Perform Europe – a collective work where hundreds of professionals in Europe met online for months, democratically creating a model for a more sustainable international touring scheme. The final project ended up presenting 19 pilot touring projects of diverse, inclusive work that usually would not have access to funding on a European level. IIAN- the Inclusive International ASSITEJ Network was the leading partner in one of the pilot tours, in a collaborative partnership of professionals in 7 countries online, that created 2 touring routes of World without Eyes from DANSEMA Dance Company (Lithuania), a dance performance for visually impaired children and the screening of A Little Space, by Mind the Gap (UK),  a filmed performance where all actors have a learning disability. The whole process is online under

In our work in ASSITEJ we are in the process of multiplying our online channels in order to connect all our members globally. Additionally, to the Coffee Sessions, Umbrella Sessions and facilitating different interest groups within the association as for instance the Small ASSITEJ National Centers we are as well investing massively in the digital infrastructure of the association, thanks to the funds of the European Union.

Indispensable will be that the multiple funds created all over the world to support independent artists and companies during the pandemic will be sustained in the future. We have observed the creative power that was released under the process and research funding available and also the multiplied opportunities to participate in residences. Many of them certainly are the seeds planted for future international collaborations.

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