In stead of announcing the 11th TIBA festival`s program

Today should have marked the beginning of 11th TIBA Festival…

We would like to thank those who still believe, as there is fewer and fewer of us…


2013 TIBA Festival’s (non) occurrence

This year Belgrade will be deprived of the one and only international children and youth festival.

It was impossible to hold the Festival in its usual form.

The importance of TIBA:

         It is the only international children and youth festival (we would like to remind that Zvezdariste Festival is a regional one, while the Festival in Subotica focuses primarily on puppet theatre).

         For ten years TIBA has been raising awareness on the importance of the children and youth theatre that has for years been regarded as the less important theatre in Serbia (and as an opportunity for easy profit or a stepping stone in career…)

     It is a networking opportunity for theatre professionals who wish to arrange co-productions and other forms of co-work.

          An occasion for the local artists to be presented and promoted worldwide.

           For years now TIBA has been successful in establishing a closer connection between the schools and the theatre, which otherwise represents a grave problem when it comes to theatre for children and youth.

           The children of Belgrade get to meet different cultures, languages and various theatrical styles; they get to be the citizens of the world.

           During the past years TIBA has become a desirable destination among international theatre troops who then proudly emphasize their participation and awards won in Serbia.

           In every sense of the word TIBA is an opportunity for perfecting and the growth of the audiences and theatre professionals.

These are only a few reasons why we think Belgrade needs a Festival such as this. We will use this incident (as we consider this year’s failure to hold the Festival as an incident rather than a rule) to point out specific problems we have been fighting for a few years now. Of course they are all based on the lack of financial support (or due to it being late).

In order to create the relevant program selection of the international productions and to be professional in organizing the Festival, we ought to contact theatres and troops which they belong to well in advance – as much as half a year to a year ahead. Naturally, most of the productions would have usually made arrangements a month prior to the TIBA Festival, which is when we address them as this is the time when we are certain of our available means. We would like to stress: best productions, not necessarily the costliest ones.

Likewise, rounding up the selection on time (during the calendar year prior to the Festival) enables the chosen troops to address their institutions in charge which provide them with the necessary touring financial support. However, this is possible only if they apply in due time. This provides us with considerable cutbacks, enabling us to invest in bringing an extra production or an important international artist as the Festival’s guest.

Let us emphasize that a large proportion of these problems arises from the fact that TIBA is listed as part of the repertoire (therefore a production) of the Bosko Buha Theatre (TIBA’s organizers) and not as an independent repertory unit. The budget cuts on all of Belgrade’s theatres have lead not only to insufficient but to no means at all left for the TIBA Festival.

We would also like to emphasize that so far TIBA’s existence has been made possible only by the help of the great enthusiasm and the will of the people gathered around it. This has been confirmed to us by our international guests’ comments of support expressing their awe that such an internationally recognized Festival is forced to exist in this way, incomprehensible to them. Regretfully, this year’s enthusiasm and will have not been enough.

However, as it has been said before, the children and the youth are not electorates. Therefore, let us deal with them tomorrow, when it is too late.

 Milena Depolo, TIBA Festival selektor