Fujairah: Peace and coexistence in focus at ITI World Congress

As the world’s largest organisation for the Performing Arts, ITI strives to create an effective platform for artists in a post-pandemic landscape

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A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 23 Feb 2023, 2:01 PM

Peace, love, tolerance, coexistence, and intercultural understanding were the dominant themes of the five best practices pieces presented at the opening ceremony of the 36th ITI World Congress at Fujairah Theatre on Wednesday.

The event, co-hosted by the Government of Fujairah and the Ministry of Culture and Youth, under the patronage of the UNESCO, if being held from February 20 to 25.

As the world’s largest organisation for the performing arts, ITI strives to create an effective platform for artists in a post-pandemic landscape. At this Congress, participants are being inspired by debate, artistry, and sharing best practices, reigniting their love of the theatre arts and the people associated with them.

The participating performers displayed exceptional skills in merging the traditional elements of performing arts, body language, dances, music and light, etc. with modern multimedia, audio and video recordings. The use of theatrical performance, interaction between performers and observers turned the experience into a vivid and engaging one.

Shengal, the Power of Women, Switzerland, reminded one of the suffering and agony sustained by the Yezidian people at the hands of so-called ISIS, Daesh. The use of live music, video and sound recording, as well as text and interplay of the actors provided audience with glimpses of the suffering of the victims as well as their determination to rebuild their life. Rahul Das, actor and musician from Bangladesh, ventured forth and back to rediscover the beauty of sound music through his performance in Wind Talker. He made the audience re-experience the beauty of the flute and its journey of development since time immemorial.

The need for intercultural communication and global peace was reinforced in Connecting Bridges by Samson and Michael Atuonwu from Nigeria. The piece put forward the diversity of cultural expressions in Nigeria. The audience were encouraged to contemplate and absorb the universality of language, dance and music.

The Asian folkloric stories of the white fox who wants to be human was skillfully recreated and modernised through The Tale of Lady White Fox, Korea. The piece combined the traditional with the non-traditional that created a amusing and engaging atmosphere.

The universal issues of governance, injustice and corruption were highlighted in Zandezi, Zimbabwe. The performers used physical theatre in the provocative as well as inspiring drama.

A sample from the works that are being presented in the conflict zone of Western Darfur, Sudan, brought to the fore the suffering of the refugees and displaced people from this part of the world. The audience storming the stage to take part in the Sufi songs and dances was a perfect closing for both the last piece and the entire night.

The ITI World Congress is the main event at which members of the organisation gather to exchange their professional experience, share their knowledge, and work on existing and new common projects. The event, which coincides with the Theatre Summit, is being held under the patronage of UNESCO to deepen and expand the joint efforts of constructive dialogue, exchange, and networking.

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