The festival is invariably a political institution: it puts in place a certain way of perceiving performing arts; it defines individual trends; it arranges artworks in a certain order and determines the requirements and criteria for producing new shows. After all, the very act of selection, and deciding how productions are shown, is in itself a political gesture – as is the shaping of context or formulating the festival message in conjunction with the audience. The choices made by those responsible for festival programmes are neither “innocent” nor neutral.
On the other hand, if we look at the festival from the perspective of its social and economic conditions, we will notice that it is not only a product of the neoliberal system, but that it also strengthens and preserves its order. Thus, how does this context allow one to think about the festival as an emancipatory political proposal? And how to unlock this potential?