As the product of Cypriot genes, I am not at all built for the British winter. I may have been born and bred in London but I’m programmed for that Mediterranean/Middle East borderland where the sun shines strong even in February. By this point in an average year, I’m withered and losing hope.
From that perspective alone, the discovery of In Between Time has been transformational for me. I first came for IBT13 to compile a document for Live Art UK and mentor a small team of aspiring writers; and I returned for IBT15 to create Gathering Storm, a series of quick-fire responses to and reflections on that year’s electrifying programme. I’m thrilled to be back again as writer-in-residence for IBT17, as the festival seeks to stand up and speak out, about who we are, where we are, who we could be, and where we might be going. All questions that, as the product of a former British colony, as the product of immigrant people positively inspired by Margaret Thatcher, as the product of a family neatly split between Leave and Remain voters, feel acutely close to my heart.
But In Between Time has been transformational for me in other ways. It’s consistently demanded that I think fast, think hard and think strong. It’s a compact festival, a lot taking place in very few days, work that is ambitious and challenging, that tramples over boundaries and proposes new ways of being. My writing about it this year will be situated in multiple places: some on this news feed, some in the online publication Exeunt, and some in a space I co-host online, Something Other. Some of it will be in dialogue with two other writers: Mary Paterson, also co-host and founder of Something Other, and currently the Spike Island arts writer in residence; and Rosemary Waugh, reviews editor of Exeunt, whom I’ve known since February 2013 when she was part of that small team of aspiring writers at IBT.
I’m also hoping to be in dialogue throughout my time in Bristol. Mary and I are planning to open up a conversational space somewhere public on Saturday afternoon, details of which will be posted here. And I hope anyone reading this will join me in conversation: in the queue to see work, in the street or over a drink afterwards, or on twitter (@maddydeliqette, @in_between_time, #IBT17). Let’s think together about how art, live art in particular, might reshape the world.