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Sustainable touring through Nordic-Baltic networking!

a stylized image of the Nordic Baltic region

bibu 2024 will have a Nordic-Baltic focus; through performances, seminars, workshops, and meetings bibu aims to strengthen collaboration, networking, and local international touring. The decision to highlight the Nordic-Baltic countries comes from a desire to promote more sustainable touring models and to truly showcase the amazing TYA of the region.

A live art form will always have to find a balance between the need to limit its carbon footprint and the need to spread performances to new audiences and inspire other artists. In the winter of 2022 the bibu team met up with the regional ASSITEJ centres at the Norwegian Showbox festival to pitch their idea for a more sustainable international gathering. Tanja Turpeinen from ASSITEJ Finland was one of the people listening.

“I've been thinking like let's stop festivals. They’re unsustainable and they don't make sense. But they do! [….] They’re important for democracy. You bring people together and you facilitate a space that gives room for inspiration and connections and unexpected things happen!”

By facilitating spaces for our neighbouring countries to showcase their work bibu hopes to strengthen local international touring where we make the most of both our similarities and differences. The Nordic countries all have political systems that in many ways have inspired each other and co-evolved, but also vast differences in history – and TYA-practice. By also embracing the Baltic region, the festival will include countries whose modern history has played out in a way very different from their Nordic neighbours.

“I was just now in Lithuania at a festival and quite a few of the performances dealt with occupation time. And that’s very near. Just a generation ago,” Turpeinen says.

Strengthening collaboration with the Nordic-Baltic region might not only help in facilitating touring between companies in the region; it could also create the networks needed to make the most of companies touring from further away.

“The sky is the limit when it comes to different ways of collaboration. Maybe there’s a performance coming to Sweden and that artist can continue to a residency in Finland? When they’re already near here?”

bibu 2024 will take inspiration from the biennial’s earlier experience of hosting both ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering and the Norwegian showcase Norway Now. After the great response from the Nordic-Baltic ASSITEJ centres the festival will feature an exclusively Nordic-Baltic international performance programme and dedicate spaces specifically for Nordic-Baltic networking and development.

“For us this is an opportunity to solidify our position as an internationally relevant festival while doing our part in taking our art form into a more sustainable future!” says bibu's CEO Niklas Borefors


Do you know of a Nordic-Baltic TYA-show that should be shown at bibu 2024? Suggest it to our International Selection Committee!

Published: 2023-04-25