Five days ago, artistic & general coordinators Agnes Quackels and Barbara Van Lindt from Kaaitheater (Belgium) sent a letter to their audience, sharing their perspectives about the pandemic.
Due to the nature of the performing arts, this ban on gatherings means that the industry is heavily affected. Something that jumped out at us:
Collective experience and exchange is our point of departure, on whatever scale it may be. We will be led by a search for (alternative) ways of coming together – rather than alternatives to coming together.
The spaces and ways in which people get together might not be the same anymore. Artists are trying new ways to make work. Arts and cultural organisations are making their archives available to the public. The audience is trying to find ways to see/meet artists and their work. Everyone is looking for solutions and alternatives to connect. For now, we make do, we innovate, we survive, and we look forward to the day when we can be in the same space, feeling one another warmth, breath and hearts again.
Now that we are taking our collective responsibility by living in isolation and keeping our distance from others, it will not be easy simply to shake off the corona conditioning again when the time comes.
Let us not forget that it is precisely this sense of responsibility – and above all trusting in it – that will ensure that proximity becomes possible again.
A different kind of proximity no doubt, with new rituals and habits, in different forms, in a changing world. That is what we are preparing for.
<An Ode to Proximity>
Agnes Quackels & Barbara Van Lindt