Through the Looking-glass - Arts Festivals Summit 2022

The session "Through the Looking-glass and what we find about the others (ourselves?) or the continuous segregation dilemma" is dedicated to encounters with festivals from the region: Armenia, Georgia, and Ukraine.

Wednesday, 14 September 2022 | 11.00-13.00

Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan, Yerevan

There is no other, it’s either us or us.

2 months from now, it’ll be 33 years since the Berlin Wall has fallen objectively, yet subjectively a wall has remained. The one that always segregates us into us, and the others. Be it the other from east, west, south, and north. Unless we sit at the same table, round and not square or any other shape, converse and be open to learning about each other, we can not find a way to bring down this wall.

This session is for us to go through the Looking-glass and not just glance at ourselves as the sole manifestation in it. In order for our festivals to follow all the beautiful discourses we considered for the future, in the numerous online sessions during the covid time, we need to go past ourselves and become us. To become us, we should embrace others, listen to their stories, how they live and work, and make festivals anywhere. This session is a small attempt for us, to sit, listen, share and learn how to care and collaborate together. This is a small attempt to bring down this invisible wall that segregates us.
My friends, my colleagues, let us go through the looking glass, and see beyond, let us tear down this wall.

Now within the programme of the Arts Festivals Summit and EFA’s 70th anniversary, we’ll be sitting together around a table with representatives from part of this contentious, ancient, and culturally rich region in the east; Armenia, Georgia, and Ukraine.

This session will also unveil the festival duos formed so far by Joining hands and hearts, Festivals for Ukraine. EFA members and their Ukrainian colleagues will testify how important it is for European festivals to continue to collaborate with festivals and artists in Ukraine.


This collective session has been conceived and will be moderated by Sepehr Sharifzadeh, festival maker, independent curator, and producer based in Tehran.