Cultural Recovery

In connection with Oslo Internasjonale Teaterfestival 2021, we have collected some of the participating artists’ viewpoints on how the pandemic has impacted the cultural sector.

These viewpoints will be published online during and after the festival – and the full collection of texts will be gathered in a physical book, Black Box teater Publication 7, released in the Fall 2021. Altogether, the interviews emphasize the need of cultural recovery in several countries – both for artists and others working in the art field, and for the art field itself – after a long and damaging period of lockdowns and cancellations.

The art field, including the performing arts field, has been heavily impacted by the pandemic, on local, national and international levels. Our practice relies on shared spaces, togetherness and mobility – all of which are being paused.

Moreover, in most countries, culture and art have not been a priority on the political agenda, considered as non-essential rather than meaningful. Many artists, designers, technicians and others working in the art field are vulnerable. In this precarious situation, they are highly dependent on support packages that are often far from sufficient.

Over the past months, artists have been over-flexible, adapting to restrictions, embracing possibilities, accepting the ongoing ‘stop and go’ strategy, postponing and rescheduling endlessly, envisioning new ways of working.

In this context, how can we offer a better understanding of the reality of the art field – a sector that has not been adequately listened to over the past months? How do we care? How do we heal? How do we mutate?

This is a series of viewpoints shared by several of the artists invited for Oslo Internasjonale Teaterfestival 2021 – both those who have their work presented this year, and those whose presentations have been postponed. We are glad to share their thoughts on what cultural recovery means for them, as well as their experiences during the past pandemic year.