Bernard Faivre d’Arcier: “A festival is to help artists to dare, to engage in new projects”

24 September 2014

In the run-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Poznan from 20-27 October 2014, all presenters who will participate in the Atelier to exchange with 45 young artistic festival directors from all over the world will be introduced. One of them is Bernard Faivre d’Arcier, former long-standing Director of the Avignon Festival and President of the Lyon Biennial in France. He joined the team of presenters at the Atelier GÖRLITZ 2006, Atelier VARNA 2009, Atelier SINGAPORE 2011, Atelier LJUBLJANA 2012 and Atelier EDINBURGH 2014.

“Art can bring a dissent, upset minds, change the perception of the world, the way of thinking. Art can be dangerous and divide people. And this implies a very specific responsibility for festival directors to build a direct relation with the public.” Bernard Faivre d’Arcier

Bernard Faivre d'Arcier studied Economy, Business Management and Political Science. He decided to work for the Ministry of Culture rather than for the Ministry of Finance. Cultural policy, in his opinion, is just as important as economical policy. He was leading and advising boards of directors in numerous art organisations in France and across Europe.

He was Deputy Director of the National Audiovisual Institute, Deputy to the President of the National Centre of Cinematography, Director of the Centre National du Théâtre, and Culture Advisor to the French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius. He also worked with the biggest festivals all over the world. He was the Director of the Avignon Festival (1979-1984 and 1993-2003) and Consultant of festivals in Houston, Tokyo and Rome. With consulting and designing clear artistic visions he influences political strategies of arts. Furthermore, Bernard Faivre d'Arcier was Head of the Cultural Development Department at the Ministry of Culture in France (1984-1986), Chairman of the International Fund for the Promotion of Culture (UNESCO), and Commissioner for the Hungarian and the Polish Cultural Season in France.

He launched the television channel La Sept, now Arte, and is a founder of the European Theatre Network Theorem.

Currently, he is the President of the Lyon Biennial in France, Vice President of the Theatre de la Ville de Paris, Cultural Consultant at BFA-Conseil, and the initiator of the Cultural Cooperation Institution Metz en scene.

“Bernard Faivre d'Arcier gave us a strong sense of the story of European festivals, in particular Festival d’Avignon which was started by gallerists in post-war France. Bernard, as with the other mentors, went into what it is to be a festival; The question in this is when is something a festival and when is it a season of programmed events? What makes a festival a festival?,” wrote Summa Durie, participant Atelier EDINBURGH 2014.

Seven renowned mentors from all over the world will guide the participants throughout the seven days of the Atelier POZNAN 2014 under the coordination of Hugo De Greef (Atelier Coordinator, former EFA Secretary General, Director European Capital of Culture Bruges 2002, Co-Founder Kaaitheater Brussels - Belgium), Robyn Archer (Artistic Director The Light in Winter Melbourne, Deputy Chair Australia Council for the Arts, Strategic Advisor Gold Coast Arts and Culture Queensland – Australia), Mark Ball (Artistic Director London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) - UK), Bernard Faivre d’Arcier (President Lyon Biennial, former long-standing Director Avignon Festival - France), Nele Hertling (Vice President of the Academy of Arts Berlin, Member Strategy Group “A Soul for Europe” – Germany), Michal Merczyński (General Director Malta Festival Poznań - Poland), and Annemie Vanackere (Artistic and Managing Director HAU Hebbel am Ufer, former Artistic Director Rotterdamse Schouwburg - Germany/Netherlands).

More information about the Atelier POZNAN 2014 can be found on the Atelier website.