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IATC 29th World Congress

St Petersburg, Russia, 14-15 November 2018

To tolerate means to endure, to bear with, to accept, to permit, to forbear. The contexts of the word have been in flux, often determined by prevailing norms, policies and beliefs. Yet, at no other time in theatre history has the idea of tolerance been as critical, and as hotly debated, as it has been in our age of multiculturalism, migration and diversity.

From the so-called “art theatre” to shows with clear political messages, there is no singular stage definition of freedom, tolerance or, for that matter, intolerance. Where does one concept end and the other begin? How does the universe of contemporary performance respond to the various crises of freedom and (in)tolerance in the world? Who is/are leading the debate now and in what forms? In what ways are young people and the newer generation of practitioners responding? Are critics aware of the urgency of this dialogue?

There is no end to these crucial questions.

To open up the contours of this discussion and debate, the IATC invites papers that reflect on the challenges of freedom and tolerance in contemporary theatre/performance discourse.

Possible topics/ideas/questions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Are there any limits to tolerance in terms of practice, themes, beliefs? What if to tolerate one group means to suppress the freedom of another group? Who sets the limits in the performing arts? Can limits be set?
  • How have theatre groups in their different geographies and cultures responded to the ideas of tolerance and to the more elusive democratic principles of equality and liberalism?
  • Is tolerance a much-needed attitude for the survival of theatre?
  • How does theatre combat hate and discrimination?
  • Is “tolerance” itself, with its implied power relations between those “tolerating” and those being “tolerated”, a problematic and/or outmoded concept?

Proposals/abstracts of approximately 250 words, accompanied by a brief bio in Microsoft Word, should be sent to all the members of the organizing committee by 25 August 2018.

Ivan Medenica (ivan.medenica@gmail.com)
Octavian Saiu (octavian_saiu@yahoo.com)
Savas Patsalidis (spats@enl.auth.gr)
Deepa Punjani (deepa.punjani@gmail.com)
Mariko Anazawa (marikoanazawa@gmail.com)

Presentation date: Mid-November 2018 (exact dates to be determined soon)

The conference will be hosted by the Europe Prize for Theatre (Premio Europa) and the Baltic House at the IATC’s 29th World Congress in St. Petersburg, Russia.