Be Festival

BE FESTIVAL February 2022

The last 18 months have seen us pivot and change the way in which we deliver our festival and we’re continuing to navigate our way through the impact of the pandemic, Brexit, and recent social and political protests. We are working with external individuals to consult on our organisation and artistic programme to scrutinise how we can best articulate and demonstrate our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Our February 2022 winter season of work will see the commitments we made to artists before lockdown, realised at Birmingham Rep – our home since 2014. We are keen to return to the theatre after a long period away due to the pandemic. This season’s programme completes a cycle of fruitful collaborations between both organisations and we are grateful for all the support the Rep has provided to us over the past years. Much of our programme is looking to question, challenge, and also to find a way to rebuild relationships with artists, audiences and communities who we hope we will be re-encountering for the first time in over a year. 

Theatre is a place that welcomes debate. It is a space for shared stories, experiments and conversations. BE FESTIVAL is committed to excite audiences, open perspectives, and offer an opportunity to model alternative realities. As such, we begin our February Season with an open talk on 15th February 2022, which will take place online.

Across the main February 2022 programme our intention is to encourage different narratives to be shared and heard. Whilst we may not have all the answers, hopefully together, we can start and continue conversations where different realities co-exist. 

We are excited to present one of the two artists we commissioned last May. We selected Birmingham based artist Amerah Saleh (UK) to create a new piece Let’s Grieve, which will be curated with people from across Birmingham. It is an artistic response to grief, loss, adapting to change and moving on.

In addition to this commission, we are thrilled to be able to honour commitments made to artists prior to the pandemic. So, after a two-year delay, we’re thrilled to be presenting a contemporary circus piece Stickman by Squarehead Productions (Ireland/Germany) and A Universal Story by David Espinosa (Spain), which takes a fascinating look at history through the manipulation of miniature objects. LET’S GO OUT FOR A WALK? by Francesc Serra Vila (UK/Spain) is a one-to-one performative piece created specifically for senior citizens and designed to connect their past memories to the present. Mining Stories by Silke Huysmans & Hannes Dereere (Belgium) sheds light on countries suffering from extractivism and ecological disaster with a focus on the feminist voices that challenge these practices. 

We will keep providing context and news of our next steps as we move forward, until then, we look forward to seeing you back in the theatre for this exciting programme of work.

Isla Aguilar & Miguel Oyarzun
Festival Founding Directors

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