‘Inter-generational: A Dialogue of Fairness for the Future’

Published on 22 May 2022

Earlier this week, members of ASSITEJ International and artists from around the globe came together to celebrate the inter-generational nature of the Bibu/ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering for a seminar on ‘Fairness for the Future’. The session was delivered in both French and English, as practitioners shared their ideas on how to make theatre for young audiences more of a co-intentional and dialogical practice. The aims of this being to develop ways of making theatre to better educate, entertain and support young audiences.

There were multiple speeches and small presentations throughout the seminar. Wolfgang Schneider spoke about how wanting to bring generations together through Theatre for Young Audiences and the rich history of TYA practices. Annika Bode, a young representative, artist and slam poet also spoke about representation of young people in the arts stating, ‘sometimes we don’t feel represented’.

‘Sometimes we don’t feel represented.’

Annika Bode

She went on to mention that young people are often left out of the conversation, even when work is being made for them. Bode said, ‘we want to tell out stories without romanticising them or making them more beautiful’, but by telling their truths instead. This conversation then generated a dialogue about the potential clashing of different generations, Bode referring to the possibility of younger and older people living through different political experiences. She said however, ‘It’s not that we want you to change, we want the politics to change’.

‘It’s not that we want you to change, we want the politics to change’.

Annika Bode

As the session continued, Bode led the group through some writing activities. Bode asked the group to think of the last lie they told, which opened up a conversation around the ways in which we are conditioned into societal norms. Bode spoke about her fascination of children being so connected to their emotions and how it might be interesting if we as adults begin to connect more fully to our own feelings and truths.

It was clear from this seminar, that to make art for young people, young people must always be included as part of the conversation. Representation works best if the people we are attempting to represent are active in the creation process.