World Congress of the International University Theatre Association (AITU-IUTA)

Summary Info Festival StoryFestival Events Not AvailableOther Sources Not AvailablePractical Info

Country and Region BelarusMinsk
Type of Festival Drama
Location of Festival Minsk, Minsk, Belarus
Festival Contact Information

Office for Culture Affairs of Belarusian State University
Nezaliezhnasti Ave. 4-211,
220030 Minsk, BELARUS
Phone/fax: +375 17 2095469

Contact person: Katsiaryna Saladukha
Mobile: +375 29 6116776
Skype: katsiaryna.saladukha

Festival Description

The theme this year is Traditions; Research; Experimentation: the Essential Elements of Contemporary University Theatre — In the world of theatre in general and university theatre in particular, there is a marked renewal of interest in cultural, anthropological and even properly theatrical traditions. We think that this movement, which is observable in many countries around the world, goes beyond the well-known mechanisms of identity-building and resistance to the standardization of practices that promote colonialism and globalization. The very fact that this movement should arise now, and so emphatically, deserves our full attention.

In theatre, we are indeed going through an extraordinary new period characterized by: the massive use of sound and image reproduction technologies on stage and in the very process of theatrical creation; and a general trend toward hybridization in cultural and artistic practices, the borders and locations of which are becoming increasingly blurred.

Falling back on tradition in such a context may be perceived as a survival reflex, a desire for something to hold onto in a radically changing world that is viewed with concern, but it may also be understood as an instrument for transformation and change, with tradition contributing in a novel way to the renewal of the current theatre scene. In addition to redefining relationships between the present and the past, the local and the global, this growing and dynamic use of tradition provides practitioners of theatre, and of university theatre in particular, with new forms of expression, new ways of doing things, new topics and new dramatic characters.

That is why, while wishing to encourage participants to examine the theme of tradition from the standpoint of collective or individual identity-building, we would like to broaden deliberations about these new forms and functions of tradition in contemporary theatre, and which can be seen to a remarkable degree in university theatre. We plan to have three areas of focus for the scholarly work. Proposals should of course include a historical dimension; they may also be centred on the role of new technologies in this renewal:

Area of focus 1: Experimenting with traditions — This area is devoted to examining productions and creative processes that make unusual use of traditions, whether cultural or theatrical.

Area of focus 2: Representing traditions — This area concerns creative productions and processes designed for audiences who are totally or partially unaware of certain traditions. How are these representations of tradition performed and what role do new technologies play in them?

Area of focus 3: Using traditions as a form of resistance This area explores the use of tradition as a way of identity-building and resisting threats of assimilation, such as the standardization of practices and cultures, in certain communities.

Festival Dates July 2 - 6, 2012
Festival Links

Festival Story:

The International University Theatre Association was established during the Founding Congress at Université de Liège (Belgium) in 1994 to develop and promote theatre training, creation, and theoretical and practical research, at the level of university or higher studies. The AITU-IUTA is represented on five continents and has members in over 50 countries. Designed by and for people from universities and other types of post-secondary learning institutions, the AITU-IUTA is a unique forum where teachers, practitioners, creators, scholars and theorists can share discoveries and discuss common concerns. The Association provides a space for exchanges and services, and is open to all members of the academic community with an interest in theatre.

Since the Belgium Congress, the AITU-IUTA has been holding a World Congress essentially every two years, including in Valleyfield, Quebec (Canada) (1997); Dakar, Senegal (1999); Krakow, Poland (2001); Olympia, Greece (2003); Urbino, Italy (2006); Puebla, Mexico (2008); and Leicester, United Kingdom (2010). In 2012, the IX World Congress will be hosted in Minsk by the Belarusian State University.

The Belarusian State University is a leading scientific, educational, innovation and cultural centre of the Republic of Belarus. The University draws on the best domestic and international experience to respond to the intellectual, cultural and social interests of the individual, society and the state, and to facilitate the sustainable development of the country.

For eight years the University has been organizing the Teatralny Koufar International Student Theatre Festival, which is recognized as one of the leading festivals of University Theatre in Europe and post-Soviet countries. The Festival showcases the best artistic achievements in university and youth theatres. Its diversity of nationalities and practices provides an opportunity for enhancement of worldwide artistic exchanges and cultural understanding. For more information visit


Practical Info:

Program of Activities:
  • The programme of activities consists of scientific, educational and entertaining events:
    • guests’ presentations, thematic desks, workshops, Open Space discussions, cultural tours, Congress socializing club and the special edition of the 9th Teatralny Koufar International Student Theatre Festival in the evening.
    • All main Congress events are located within walking distance.
Official languages:
  • Official languages of the Congress are Belarusian, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
  • Official ceremonies and plenary sessions will be translated simultaneously.
  • To save time, there will be no translation during the paper sessions. We kindly ask you to consider preparing materials to aid in understanding and stimulate discussion, despite the language chosen (projection on a screen of main ideas, for example, might provide visual support).
  • Proposals are invited for four main types of activities:
    • scholarly papers (20 minutes);
    • demonstrations (20–60 minutes);
    • workshops (60-120 minutes); and
    • festival performances.
  • Submissions should include a 500-word titled abstract, including an English translation if the abstract is not in English, complete contact information and institutional affiliation of the proponent, and a short biographical note (see the attached form).
Deadlines 2012:
  • Receipt of abstracts, proposals for demonstrations and workshops: January 15, 2012
  • The Congress Scientific Committee will conduct selection on a rolling basis and send official notification, via email, within one month of receipt of an application and no later than February 15, 2012.
  • Proposals for participation in the Festival: January 15, 2012.
Congress Scientific Committee:
  • The Congress Scientific Committee is composed of leading representatives of theatrical science and pedagogy, elected by the Executive Committee of the International University Theatre Association (AITU-IUTA), and is responsible for scientific organization of the Congress activities (e.g., selection of Congress scholarly papers, publication).
  • The Members of the Scientific Committee of the AITU-IUTA IX World Congress:
    • Jane Baldwin (English), USA, Boston Conservatory
    • Maria S. Horne (Spanish), USA, University at Buffalo
    • Christiane Page (French), France, Université de Rennes
    • Zinaida Pasiutsina (Russian and Belarusian), Belarus, Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts
Costs/fees, Accommodations & Submission Form:
  • For detailed information visit the event’s web site


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