The International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ) is dedicated to maintain, develop and promote the theatre of children and young people. Beside live-theatres, workshops, congresses, international conferences of research, were at this year’s event as well next-generation-residency programs for generating international collaborations. Families and young people from Africa, together with international delegates of the fields of art, culture and education were invited to this conference. EDUCULT was represented there by its employee Dr. Aron Weigl. His lecture in the context of the International Theatre for Young Audiences Research Network (ITYARN) conference made a substantial contribution to the ASSITEJ Congress.
His lecture in the course of the panel “Supportive system or repressing conditions? A critical questioning of concepts and structures for intercultural Theatre for Young Audiences” deals with the subject of arts education: What role should arts education play considering changing societal structures? Which criteria should it meet? Do programmes, projects and processes of arts education reflect existing structures of power? Does the implementation of arts education projects construct or deconstruct social reality? Does perhaps the focus on underprivileged groups reinforce their marginalisation? To achieve a critical arts education, cultural policy should accomplish the basis of unique conversation between different groups and of the recognitions in a “third space” represented for example by the theatre for young audiences.
In communication with the other participants of the panel (Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schneider/Department for Cultural Policy of the University Hildesheim, Katharina Schröck/Theatre Department of the Cultural Office of Frankfurt am Main, Dr. Annika Hampel/ International Office of the Institute for Technology Karlsruhe, and Prof. Dr. Veronica Baxter of the Cape Town University) and interested people from all over the world a discussion could arise about cultural policy and theatre policy, arts education, diversity and international co-operations. The lectures of the panel are planned to be published in the beginning of 2018.
ASSITEJ South Africa works to promote international awareness of South African theatre for children and young people, through networking, organising exchanges, touring performances, and by facilitating contacts. ASSITEJ South Africa presents its bid to host the ASSITEJ International 19th World Congress in Cape Town in 2017.