Black Lives Matter & Performing Arts
Today I have moderated the Season Closing online discussion on Zoon. The session was about IETM members’ experiences, observations and discussions during the pandemic. The participants were encouraged to send questions in the chat room. As the moderator I would in turn put the questions to the speakers.
Chang Nai Wen, (a participant from Berlin) sent a question concerning Black Live Matter and the response from the performing arts community. Please see his text below.
I made an editorial decision and did not bring that question on for the sole reason that it was not the topic of the session. But the issue is nonetheless very relevant and important and I though it deserves serious consideration and perhaps could instigate a session of its own right. Particularly in light of my role as a member of the IETM's IDEA Group for Inclusion, Diversity, Equality and Access I would like to thank Chang Nai Wen for his question and emphasize the importance and immediacy of this topic. I would have myself liked to hear responses to that question indeed.
Therefore I think IETM should perhaps consider organizing a session about the contemporary performing arts and racism in the light of Black Lives Matter movement. I furthermore think that such prospective session should be a learning opportunity for the IETM members rather than members discussing something that we (as a network) honestly know very little about. Simple check: just how many IETM members are black?
I feel that I had done a poor job as moderator if I did not write this post and give voice to Chang Nai Wen important question.
Chang Nai Wen’s question posted on Zoom chat room: “There’s been quite some loud response in the context of #BlackLivesMatter from the theater world in North America. Such as the open letter “To all white theaters” or “Black Like Us” Panel from Straford Festival in Canada. I'd be interested to know how theater communites in other countries are responding in regards to the visibility of their BIPoC colleagues.