Why are we the Next Generation? To answer this question it is best to look back at the week we had together in Berlin.
I was chosen as one of the 40 Next Generation members at the Assitej Artistic Gathering in Berlin, Germany. Last year I participated in the same program in Warsaw. And this year I was chosen to work as alumni and to share my experience with new members.
A variety of different programs were organized for the Next Generation program this year. Sometimes we participated as a 40 member group all together, sometimes we were separated in two groups. One of the programs this year was “Encounters”. We had the chance to discuss with others. We discussed our ideas about the specific topics that were chosen to talk about. Sometimes when we were sitting around a table to talk you could see there were people from all around the world with different cultures, different ages and different professions – all discussing a subject at the same time. I found “Encounters” very useful. With these “Encounters” the Next Generation group was not separated from professional ASSITEJ members but was a part of every discussion.
One point on our daily program was watching shows. We saw 1 or 2 shows a day. Most of the shows of “Augenblick mal!” were from Germany. I wish there would have also been shows from other countries, then we could have gotten to know theater from the entire world. German shows are very different from the shows in my country. They are special in music, dance, dramaturge and ending (almost open ending). I liked Trashedy the most, maybe because the concept had an international language.
Meetings were also a part of our schedule. We had two official meetings with special guests. It was like sitting in a class room. After the guests made a speech about their specific topic, the group was allowed to ask questions and then they were discussed. I learned so much from these meetings.
One of the most interesting days we had was Berlin Diagonale. We had the chance to see all Berlin Artists, who are working in TYA at the same time, talk to them face to face and acquaint with their works and techniques. There were Artists in Puppetry, outdoor theater, theater for very young ages, educational theater and etc.
On the second day of the festival there was a market. Next Generation was a part of it as well. Diana Rojas and I had the responsibility to present NG Network. We had gathered history and manifests of previous groups. And to get to know this year’s members, we had printed out their wishes of TYA. One of the interesting points was many people were not familiar with NG but with this market. We had the opportunity to present NG to many people, and make it hopefully bigger.
We were gathered together as young artists with different resumes, cultures and languages. Now it was time that everyone would show his abilities, his culture and his point of view to others. Bonustrack made that happen for us, on one evening, there was 3 minutes of time for each of us to present our shows in front of 200-300 people. It was indeed one of the best nights of the festival. It was beautiful. The whole world was performing on the stage. I performed a little piece of “Kheymeshab bazi” Irans traditional performance with the famous Iranian puppet “MUBARAK”. We had a great time. Thanks to everyone who organized this event.
After a busy day we had the chance gather in a café. Drink, dance, chat and laugh. Those were the brilliant nights where great ideas were born to exchange views. The friendships became deeper and deeper.
One of the things I liked the most about Assitej and Augenblick mal! is that they are open to any critics. Henning Fangauf asked us very kindly to talk about our experience during this week in a tea time program.
Every year, on the last day, each NG group presents something. This year the presentation had the topic: “If I would be president of Assitej?” we were a very big group who didn’t have enough time to hear and use everybody’s ideas. So Diana and I built an idea for the presentation and asked others to take part in it. The result was a 10 minutes long show and a video and our manifest papers which were thrown to the audience from upstairs.
In the end I would like to say when I heard there is going to be a group of 40 people I was shocked! I thought it wouldn’t work! But it only took 1 or 2 days, until there was friendship, exchange, fun and love in this big group that I totally forgot about the size of our group! I wish there could have been more time for official meetings in the group to get to know everybody, their back grounds and their abilities. I also wish we had more time to discuss the shows. I think the selection of members was very good this year. Now I think it is a good idea to have a big group to engage more people in TYA. Maybe the ones who have not the opportunity to travel a lot and to meet foreign artists (me for instance) could receive a lot of inspiration for their artistic life.
I want to thank everybody who took part in organizing this amazing program for us. Now with all the things I mentioned I would like to answer the first question. Why are we the next generation? After a week of being together like a family, sleeping, laughing, crying, eating, working, playing, dancing, experiencing and exchanging together in the field of TYA. Why shouldn’t we be the next generation? There is no doubt we are ready to continue our work in TYA. Once someone experiences living with this family you could never leave them. With all the valuable experiences we have gotten, we will make a better world for children!
We are the Next Generation.
Minoovash Rahimian is an Iranian artist and a member of ASSITEJ Iran. She has a Bachelor of Arts in theater from Sooreh University, Tehran, she has also been working in the theater for nine years, five years in TYA. She is working as an actress and has experience in directing, puppetry, voice acting, journalist etc. She also works in the International section of Iran`s International TYA festival. She has been awarded two times as best TYA actress of the year in Iran.
She has been in the Next Generation program three times. Assitej World Congress, Warsaw, Starke Stücke Festival, Frankfurt and Assitej Artistic Gathering by Augenblick mal! 2015 in Berlin.