Can you feel your own voice

Try to recall the main square of your town. Now picture a new object appearing in it: a large round table. It has no specific purpose. It is simply present. And it can be used in different ways. Every day its function can change.
Try to think what its use could be in the square. Who could you meet there? Who would you like to sit with? What would you like to talk about? Would you even want to talk at all?
Now think about who you would not like to meet at this round table. Why is that? Who wouldn’t you run into in such a space?
In your opinion, does sitting with someone at a round table mean being together with that person? Or is it the object itself that creates the illusion of a temporary community? Does it excuse us from caring about those we don’t see and don’t even want to think about?

During Santarcangelo Festival, a large round table will be set up in Piazza Ganganelli. Around that table, we will be able to sit together and listen to the voices that will resonate in that shared space.

We need shared spaces. Places in which to create temporary communities to celebrate our diversity, learning situations that find their strength in the differences of bodies, voices, contexts and perspectives. In a world so painfully affected by inequality and conflict, we need environments where we can find mutual support and be there for each other. I hope that the 52nd edition of Santarcangelo Festival can be this kind of place. An attentive, generous, empathic and intimate place.

The artists creating the Festival differ in their languages, aesthetics, cultural backgrounds, their dramaturgical tools and the way they perceive the purpose of performing arts. But they all offer us a safe space for a shared and intimate experience, an environment that excludes definitions and ready-made interpretations and instead is open to the unspoken and the potential. These artists drag us out of our routine, taking us away from our established interpretations of reality. They give us something extremely valuable: time and space for our individual research.

I believe that a Festival like Santarcangelo cannot limit itself to being homogenous or uniform. It is intrinsically polyphonic, and it takes its strength from the continuous search undertaken by a multitude of bodies and voices. The artists are invited to share their experiences, perceptions and, above all, the practices that give them the strength to live in public spaces. This exchange becomes an invitation to listen to our deepest and most intimate voice and keep asking ourselves who we are, what are our non-negotiable values and what we want to share.

Being together, exchanging energies, sharing strengths and weaknesses: this is the experience we are imagining. I wish for us to come out of this Festival feeling more confident, more aware – one experience at a time – of our right to speak out, assured that what we want to share matters.

Tomasz Kireńczuk
Artistic director Santarcangelo Festival