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  • 17 September

    Institute of Contemporary Arts

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    Burning Down the House

    (Belarus, Iran, Greece, UK)

    Culture and Crisis in Europe

    Across the continent the arts have borne the brunt of the crisis, facing cuts that have undermined the strength of the cultural sector across Europe. How is theatre and the arts responding to the crisis? Are artists at the forefront of imagining a new Utopia for Europe, fundamentally challenging the paradigms of capitalism? How is theatre and performance being utilised as a political weapon by activists such as the Occupy movement?

    Europe is in crisis. Precipitated by the World Financial Crisis of 2008, the Eurozone crisis is crippling the economy of Europe, creating a two-speed continent that threatens the post-war consensus and political and economic stability.

    The half-day of discussion, debate and presentations acts as precursor to a 5 year investigation by LIFT into the relationship between theatre, economics and performance. The half-day was chaired by Beki Bateson (LIFT Executive Director) and featured Gillian Slovo (novelist, playwright and President of the English Centre of International PEN), John Jordan and Nathalia Koliada (Belarus Free Theatre), theatre-maker Hamid Pourazari (Iran) as well as a specially commissioned artistic presentation from Christiana Galanopoulou (Greece).