01 October 2020 to 02 October 2020
01 October 2020 to 02 October 2020

[IETM] Plenary discussion: What matters now?



This session will begin with a welcome word by Cathie Boyd (IETM President) and Ása Richardsdóttir (IETM Secretary General), as well as a greeting from the different locations of the Multi-location Plenary. 

We have been plunged into a decade embroidered with fascinating contradictions: time seems to have stopped yet to have fast-forwarded at once; our gazes fixed on the whole world while contemplating our inner selves; we longed for physical encounters alongside venturing into the digital realm… 

Amidst these seemingly timely paradoxes, one crucial question emerges: What matters now?

What matters now, in the new ‘roaring twenties’ where the pandemic possibly crushed our hopes while giving us the opportunity to redefine them? 

What matters now that global lockdown measures accelerated the threat that nationalist populism poses towards fundamental human rights while having temporarily alleviated global warming?

What matters now that the pandemic has widened the inequalities in our sector while stronger narratives on diversity, inclusion and fairness have re-emerged in some parts of the world?

What matters now that so many people - be it audiences, colleagues or loved ones - are not in our room while we found new ways to connect with those whom we were not always or never in touch with before?

What matters now that we, as professionals, saw our core activities jeopardised while having now a chance to change our behaviours, slow down, live differently and create a new way for our art forms to thrive?

These and certainly many other questions will be discussed during this exceptional IETM Multi-location Plenary.

We’ll start the session by inviting four speakers with versatile backgrounds to trigger live and online, local and international conversations on What matters now?. This session will also include a Q&A with the speakers, as well as small group conversations on the theme of the Plenary in the form of breakout rooms.

Connect to the session

This online session will be automatically captioned in English and translated into 16 languages by Wordly.ai

This online session is part of the main IETM online programme of the IETM Multi-location Plenary. For any questions regarding this session or in case of a technical issue, please contact us at [email protected].


Addresses from the speakers

What matters now is China and ensuring we find constructive, nuanced and meaningful ways to engage with and understand China’s rapid development and complex culture. The arts play a key role in this and I will talk about why!
- Alison Friedman

There will be no return to 'normality' (at least in the short/medium term), but there are opportunities for a 'cultural new deal'. 
- Dr. Franco Bianchini

I will speak about the stories we tell and the narratives that define our cultures and the people we keep in and the people we keep out. 
- Ravi Jain

What matters is how do we come together and share space / time as artists and citizens, but also as vulnerable and scared human beings? How we are in the place, also created and inhabited, by non-human elements, like animals, plants, weather and viruses? 
- Gundega Laivina

1 October, 2020 - 14:00 to 15:45

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