Sunday, 29 December 2013
There are promotion videos of the festival uploaded on YouTube.
These are recorded by volunteers everyday during the festival, vividly showing the excitement and wonders of the festival.
This one above is from the festival in 2013.
Check it out!
Wednesday, 12 June 2013
“The most important thing in the world is to invest in people.” This is what Mr. Constantin Chiriac, the director of the festival said when all the international volunteers first had an opportunity to see him. Although you cannot be sure what he meant by “invest”, you cannot invest without trusting. Sibiu International Theatre Festival was where I saw many people with good hearts and believed good in people.
My job as a volunteer for the Festival was to be at media art exhibition held at the Contemporary Art Gallery of Brukenthal Mueum and explain art works to visitors. It started in a fog named ambiguity: we had a 5 minutes meeting a few days before the festival started and the next time the members of the team saw each other was 1 hour before the opening. There we, 2 Romanian and 2 Japanese volunteers met Justyna from WRO are centre in Poland. She explained how to operate the media arts and also briefly explained what they meant. The exhibition was about WRO Media Art Biennale held in Poland in 2011. There were selected works and documentations. Though still in a pale fog, the opening night was successful; there are 104 visitors. However, from the next day, we had approximately 10 visitors a day. There are several reasons why visitors were few. First, the place was not known even among people in Sibiu. Moreover, it was not easy to find, therefore people only who had intentions to come could reach. Plus, not a lot of people knew that there was a media art exhibition as a part of the festival. This year was the very first year to have media art in it. Lastly, people in Sibiu were not familiar with media art. They were more into theatre performances. For these reasons, experiencing some mechanical problems, the art gallery had a rather quiet festival. Staying there 4 hours a day, Mariko, the other Japanese Volunteer and I started to have a doubt: what does the festival want to achieve with this exhibition? They told us that they wanted to develop media art in the festival and this year was the first step. Contradicting with what they said, there was no enough preparation or promotion. It is understandable since they were busy handling many emergencies in the festival. Them why not us? We changed our frustrations into energy to change the situation of the exhibition. Talking until 3 am, we decided to do something on the last day of the festival. With a help of Yuka, another Japanese volunteer we made indications and maps. We put a poster and a map on the wall of the Radu Stanca theatre. We prepared some food and drinks. Still not knowing what to do and what was possible on the last day, we bumped into a street performer on the main street. He performed everyday during the festival. We asked him to go to the gallery with us, hoping he would attract people. Suprisingly he kindly agreed to do so. So the last day, with a lot of help from other international volunteers, we made an instant parade with him. It was a small one: Mariko played the harmonica and raised her voice with some other Japanese volunteers and me talked to people about the exhibition, handing the fryers. On that day we had 40 visitors, whereas we normally had 10-12 visitors. Of course there were people who soon left the exhibition but I was glad that they at least came. Some stayed over an hour, watching documentations. Offering food and drinks, we asked a question to a lady from “Would you like to visit a media art exhibition nest year if there were one?” She answered “Definitely.” We could not hear this word if it were not generosities of people from WRO art center who said “it's a great idea!”, Romanian volunteers, International volunteers, Mayumi and the festival. Sibiu International Theatre Festival is where a mere volunteer can have an idea and make it come true. It is where people are open to such ideas.
Beside this job, I luckily had opportunities to do 3 other works: to help Mariko, a Japanese volunteer attending a VIP, attend Ms. Sanae Kagaya, a Japanese Butoh dancer who performed in the festival to create connections with a Romanian curator and a Romanina art manager, and take VIPs from Georgia, Armenia and Ukraine to dinner. They were all coincidences but somehow the volunteer T-shirt and the fact that we all live performing arts created those ties.
This 1 month was full of miracles. Participating in an international festival in Europe is such a great opportunity for youth who seek a career in performing arts field. Above all, the greatest miracle was that I met many people from all over the world who are passionate about performing arts. I am deeply grateful to Lavinia, Alexandra, many other staffs, Mayumi, and all international volunteers.