Part 2 in our short series of blogs on Sustainable Internationalism
During our recent period of organisational reflection and renewal, one idea among many bubbled to the surface. The concept of Sustainable Internationalism.
At first this seemed a contradiction in terms; an unobtainable juxtaposition of two of our guiding principles.
After two decades of running international live art festivals, inviting artists and audiences to travel to Bristol we questioned how we could genuinely call ourselves ‘sustainable’. Could we hold our heads high and tout our environmental credentials if our core operating model was based on the physical import and export of goods and people, numerous long-haul flights, train, bus, car and coach journeys, while we ignored all the greenhouse gases produced?
This conundrum was a tough one to solve. After much discussion and throwing around of ideas, we decided if we wanted to maintain our integrity, the only real option open to us was radical change.
We had to acknowledge the immense privilege that had underpinned our operations for so long. From the international visitors and imported artworks, to our stable funding, we reflected on what seemed like a long-lost time of innocence and playfulness.
Despite all the incredible achievements, live-changing experiences and momentous events we staged, looking back through our contemporary specs, it was impossible not to feel twinges of discomfort, guilt and even remorse intermingling with our sense of pride.
The party was over. Let the new day break.
The new In Between Time is more fluid and yet more focused; more flexible and more finessed. In many ways we are more free and hopefully more of a force for change. Without the rigid model and unforgiving timelines of a biennial festival, we no-longer have to fit into a mould that had become cumbersome and ungainly.
We retain our focus on championing unheard voices, showcasing brave work and exploring new terrain. We are committed to innovation, wild creativity and unleashing the power of live art into streets, caves, forests and front rooms. But we also commit to doing this in a way that is even more sensitive to the environment, the socially, economically and physically excluded, and most of all, to the needs of our audience members and patrons.
Thank you all for your support over the last twenty years. We are proud to have got this far and can’t wait to see you all again very soon.
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