2020 September 16
This edition of the festival will be different.
This year the festival is with a view to the wall.
Walls work. They separate, create safety, make communities, but also spark conﬂicts, divide into „us“ and „them“, force us to take sides. Human wall-building skills have been perfected for over 20 000 years, and we have clearly made progress. Walls act; they play their roles in economics and politics, just like the infamous Trump‘s Wall on the border with Mexico. Walls, visible and invisible, also did well in other places: The Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall, the iron curtain, and a 708 km long barricade separating Israel from Palestine, to name a few. In Bethlehem, Banksy even built an extraordinary „Walled-Off“ hotel where every room is with a view. A view to the wall.
Today as we deal with COVID-19 pandemic, we face walls that protect us from the invisible enemy, and we know it is a cunning one. Can we build walls that would protect us from the invasion of the virus? We have closed our schools and restaurants, offices and galleries, airports and theatres – all of this almost overnight. Walls popped up in places where we walked every day, vast distances opened up in front the objects that were at arm‘s reach. We have been separated from familiar places and people, our own routines, rituals and everyday life. Walls also separated festival organizers from international shows and artists. But are there walls that can protect us from conspiracy theories, hybrid warfare, fears, conﬂicts and unwillingness to accept someone who is different?
This year SIRENOS has chosen to walk the festival line with a group of gifted Lithuanian artists: we will look for routines and rituals that keep us aﬂoat, will make our way through the jungle of fake news, try to discern what meanings the word porn holds in the age of all eyes watching us all the time. We have selected six projects through the open call in order to discuss what the present is bringing to us and how we should deal with this moment without losing the essence of what theatre is. While contemplating the view to the wall, which is inescapable at the moment, we would like to invite you to ponder the concept of „unwelcome“. How do we feel when we are unwanted, rejected, invisible, left out?
This year the world has shown the ability to transform itself at the speed of light. How can anything I write today, be relevant at the time you are reading it? I keep myself open to the uncertainty and I hope you remain open and understanding towards the path SIRENOS has chosen for this edition.
Sirenos’20 Main Programme: http://www.sirenos.lt/en/festivalio_programa/programme/