A Message From The President of ASSITEJ International

Published on 9 May 2022

I am delighted to welcome you all to the 2022 ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering at Bibu International Festival for children in Helsingborg, Sweden.
With the tag line “no one left behind’ we enter a glorious 6 day exploration of performance and professional exchange, sustainable practice, diversity and inclusion and a courageous approach
to our future and the world we inhabit – from the youngest to the oldest. I am writing this from the lands of the Wurundjeri people here in Melbourne, Australia. The First
Nations people of Australia hold custodianship of the land and of culture and have lived, played, made art, song and dance here for thousands of years.
In Helsingborg we are entering the land of another ancient living culture, that of the Sami people. I pay my respects to the Sami community and their culture and am grateful that this
Artistic Gathering has been welcomed with such generosity. The Indigenous peoples of the world are first in connection to land, and with the framework of
sustainability provided by the Bibu Festival, we see our theatre making and our responsibility as imaginative, hopeful human beings, though this lens. What a powerful place to draw together to
discuss, connect and learn. I thank the International Selection Committee for the enormous work they undertook to make an Indigenous program not only possible but entirely authentic
and considered. It will be tremendously exciting to share live performance again with children in Helsingborg.

The program of Bibu Festival 2022 promises joy, beauty, wonder, passion and challenge from both the International program and the Swedish; we are offered a wide-ranging selection of
workshops, seminars and presentations that have responded to the sustainable development goals of the UN; the ASSITEJ Artistic Encounters explores the theme of Regenerating: Handle
with Care; we will talk, eat, hug and appreciate our community more than ever. Those of us who cannot make it in person will be offered a rich and diverse program of workshops, productions
and network opportunities through ASSITEJ Online across time zones. The past years of pandemic and the present times of conflict and uncertainty have taken a toll
on us all and we can’t help but feel overpowered at times, but the strength and commitment of this TYA community across the world is continually inspiring. This 2022 ASSITEJ Artistic
Gathering and Bibu Festival, on the ground and online, will be a tonic and a treat for us all and we are grateful to the organisers from ASSISITEJ Sweden and the Bibu Festival and those in
Helsingborg for making us all welcome and providing such food for the heart, mind and spirit.

Warmest regards and greetings
Sue Giles AM
President, ASSITEJ International