Section Editor: Ivan Medenica* (Serbia)
On the 27th and the 28th of September 2016, BITEF (Belgrade), The International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC) and its webjournal Critical Stages/Scènes Critiques, organized an international theatre conference on “Newness and Global Theatre: Between Commodification and Artistc Necessity.” The aim of the conference was to reflect on the problematics and (im)possibilities of “newness” in contemporary theatre/performance theory and practice.
Has newness reached a cul-de-sac? Has its rebellious nature turned into a blueprinted course of conduct, its critique into empty rhetorics and its transgression into a ceremony of commodified repetition?
If hybridization of cultures and identities is the norm rather than the exception, then how does newness relate to cultural particularities and localities? How does the entanglement of theatre in the politics of colonialism allow us to re-theorize the concept of newness and its performative potential? Does our culturally diverse understanding of newness in theatre ultimately lead to a transnational conception of newness, thus turning the sites of artistic innovation into sites of unacknowledged negotiation?
These among others, were the questions raised in the Call for Papers circulated by the organizing committee.
Of the papers submitted, the committee selected sixteen that they thought gave a more inclusive global perspective on the subject. Each paper, in its own way, shows newness cannot be treated in a neutral way, as a term applicable to all, irrespective of local cultures.
Critical Stages/Scènes Critiques is now publishing a select few from the presented papers, including the two keynote presentations by Prof. Georges Banu and Prof. Erika Fischer-Lichte.
Organizing committee: Savas Patsalidis (Chairman) Professor – Aristotle University, Greece, Editor-in-Chief – Critical Stages/Scènes critiques (IATC), Margareta Sörenson, President of IATC, Octavian Saiu, Associate Professor – National University of Theatre and Film, Romania, Adjunct Secretary General of IATC.
*Ivan Medenica (Belgrade, Serbia), works at the FDA as an Associate Professor, teaching The History of World Drama and Theatre, and holds the position of the Head of the Department for Theory and History. He is an active theater critic and has received five times the national award for the best theatre criticism. He was the artistic director of Sterijino Pozorje in Novi Sad, the leading national theater festival in Serbia (2003-2007), to which he brought some important structural changes, especially in the domain of internationalization. From 2001 to 2012, Medenica was one of the main editors of the prestigious journalTeatron. He is a member of the International Association of Theater Critics’ Executive Committee and the Director of its international conferences. He is also member of the editorial board of Critical Stages, the web journal of the Association, and as of October 2015, the artistic director of Bitef Festival (Belgrade).