Mentors and guest speakers
Mentors and guest speakers at the Atelier were renowned festival directors, cultural activists and artists, as well as people working in different fields of action such as the political, social/humanitarian and technological.
Mentors and Speakers
During their participation, they not only acted as lecturers but also as true mentors as they engaged in one-on-one discussions with the participants. They were present for multiple days, some for the whole period of the training. They allowed participants an honest and open insight into their careers, including both success stories and failures.
You can have a look at the list of experts present during previous editions here.
You can find a list of the experts for Atelier Montreal below.
- Mike Van Graan – Playwright and project manager at Sustaining Theatre and Dance Foundation (STAND) – South Africa
Guest of Honour
- André Dudemaine – Cultural leader, co-founder and director of cultural activities at Terres en Vues/Land InSights – Innu Nation/Mashteuiatsh Community/Canada
- Felwine Sarr – Humanist, philosopher, economist and musician – Duke University – United States of America/Senegal
- Jacob Boehme – Multi-disciplinary theatre maker, choreographer and artistic director, founding creative director of Yirramboi Festival – Narangga and Kaurna Nations/Australia (online)
- Quito Tembe – Artistic director of the international platform for contemporary dance performing arts organisation Kinani – Mozambique
- Victoria Leshchenko – Programme director of DocuDays UA, the Ukrainian international human rights film festival – Ukraine (online)
- Ellada Evangelou – Cofounder of Rooftop Theatre, member of the Leadership Circle of the IMPACT project, artistic director of Buffer Fringe Festival – Cyprus/United States of America
- Kee Hong Low – Creative director of The Factory/Manchester International Festival, director of programs (theatre) at West Kowloon Cultural District – Hong Kong
- Nayse Lopez – Artistic director of the international platform Panorama Raft – Brazil
- Quito Tembe – Artistic director of the international platform for contemporary dance performing arts organisation Kinani – Mozambique
- Anna Gallagher-Ross – Senior manager of programming at The Bentway – Canada
- Anna Pohribna – Deputy director for programs of Mystetskyi Arsenal National Art and Culture Museum Complex – Ukraine (online)
- David Lavoie – Managing director Festival TransAmériques – Canada
- Emily Johnson – Body-based artist, Bessie Award-winning choreographer, Guggenheim Fellow, land and water protector, organizer for justice, sovereignty and well-being – Yup'ik Nation/United States of America
- Jacob Boehme – Multi-disciplinary theatre maker, choreographer and artistic director, founding creative director of Yirramboi Festival – Narangga and Kaurna Nations/Australia (online)
- Jessie Mill and Martine Dennewald – Artistic directors of Festival TransAmériques – Canada
- Marie-Hélène Falcon – Former artistic director of Festival TransAmériques – Canada
- Michael Sheldrick –Co-Founder and Chief Policy, Impact and Government Relations Officer at anti-poverty organisation Global Citizen – Australia
- Orwa Nyrabia – Artistic director International Documentary Festival Amsterdam – Netherlands/Syria (online)
- Salim Rajabi – Program coordinator/Theatre of the Oppressed activist, Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization (AHRDO), representative of Peaceful Heart Network – Afghanistan
- Anthony Richter – Director Special Initiatives Open Society Foundations New York – United States of America
- Brett Pyper – Associate Professor and Head Wits School of Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg – South Africa
- Carmen Olaechea – Chairwoman of Fundación Cambio Democrático, member of the advisory board of Crear Vale La Pena – Argentina (online)
- Christine van Winkle – Professor at the University of Manitoba and associate faculty member at Royal Roads University – Canada
- Dena Davida – Co-founder Festival International de Nouvelle Danse and the Tangente dance performance space, co-creator and managing editor of Turba: The Journal for Global Practices in Live Arts Curation – Canada
The Festival Academy Alumni
- Kate Craddock – Founder and festival director of GIFT: Gateshead International Festival of Theatre – United Kingdom
Festival TransAmériques joint session on Latin America – Additional speakers
- Diana Collazos – Co-founder of elgalpon.espacio, cultural administrator, audiovisual producer, interdisciplinary artist – Peru
- Maria José Cifuentes – Artistic and managing director of NAVE, Creation and Residency Center in Santiago – Chile
Artists/Cultural Programme speakers
- Étienne Minoungou – Actor, performer, director and cultural entrepreneur – Burkina Fasso
- Euripides Laskaridis – Theatre director, filmmaker, choreographer and performer – Greece
- Mélanie Demers – Multidisciplinary artists, founder of MAYDAY dance company, choreographer – Canada
Cultural Programme speakers
- Barbara Filion – Programme Officer for Culture with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO – Canada
- Sylvain Vollant – Former general manager of Festival Innu Nikamu – Innu Nation/Mani-Utenam Community/Canada
- Gabriel Theriault – Assistant to the executive and artistic direction at La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines – Canada
- Rafael Fernandes – Cultural producer and production director at Panorama Festival – Brazil
Mike van Graan
Playwright, project manager at Sustaining Theatre and Dance (STAND) Festival – South Africa
Mike van Graan, founder of the African Cultural Policy Network, has served in leadership positions in a variety of anti-apartheid cultural organisations such as the Congress of South African Writers and the National Arts Coalition of South Africa. He is also an award-winning playwright, who has written thirty plays to this date. He was appointed as Artscape’s Associate Playwright from 2011-2014 and is considered one of South Africa’s leading contemporary playwrights.
He is the 2018 recipient of the Sweden-based Hiroshima Foundation for Peace and Culture Award in recognition of his contribution to the fight against apartheid, building a post-apartheid society, and the interface of peace and culture both in South Africa and across the African continent.
You can read his full bio here.
GUEST OF HONOUR
Cultural leader, co-founder and director of cultural activities at Terres en Vues/Land InSights – Innu Nation/Mashteuiatsh Community/Canada
Of Innu origin and a member of the Mashteuiatsh community, André Dudemaine has largely contributed to the effulgence of the culture of the indigenous peoples of North America.
Co-founder and director of Terres en Vues, a company for the dissemination of indigenous culture, André Dudemaine has been directing the multidisciplinary festival Présence Autochtone de Montréal for 29 years. This meeting of international scope testifies to the cultural and artistic vitality of the First Nations of America.
He is part, as director of Land InSights, of the International Network of Indigenous Audiovisual Creation (RICAA).
He sits on the boards of Indigenous Tourism Quebec, Architecture Without Borders Quebec, as well as that of DestiNATIONS, an international hub for the arts and cultures of indigenous peoples. From 2002 to 2004, he also sat on the board of the APTN network (Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network), the television of Aboriginal peoples in Canada; from 2002 to 2018 on the Board of Culture Montréal.
Under his leadership, Land InSights has received prestigious awards: the Mishtapew excellence prize, awarded by the First Peoples’ Business Association, in 2001 and 2003; and the Jacques-Couture prize from the Government of Québec, in 2002, for the intercultural rapprochement, an outcome of his role as co-president of the Corporation for the celebrations of the tercentenary of the Great Peace of Montreal of 1701; the Rights and Freedoms Award, from the Commission des droits de la personne et de la jeunesse in 2017, highlighting the social impact of the Présence Autochtone festival.
For his exceptional career, the University of Montreal awarded an honorary doctorate to André Dudemaine in the fall of 2017.
Academic, musician and writer – Senegal
The Senegalese economist, philosopher, writer, musician and playwright Felwine Sarr questions the existing political and economic models, convinced that the African continent can be the driving force behind a planetary renewal—provided that it completes its decolonization and proposes a new project for civilization.
His numerous books include Afrotopia (Philippe Rey, 2016) and Habiter le monde (Mémoire d’encrier, 2017), and most recently Les lieux qu’habitent mes rêves (Gallimard, 2022). In 2016, he and Achille Mbembé created the Ateliers de la pensée, bringing together thinkers, writers and academics from Africa and the diaspora in Dakar and Saint-Louis to reflect upon the transformations of the contemporary world. With Bénédicte Savoy, he wrote the ground-breaking report Restituer le patrimoine africain (2018) at the request of the French Presidency. Since 2020, Felwine Sarr has taught contemporary and diasporic African philosophy at Duke University (North Carolina). In 2021, he was included in Time Magazine‘s 100 most influential people of the year.
Multi-disciplinary theatre maker, choreographer and artistic director, founding creative director of Yirramboi Festival – Narangga and Kaurna Nations/Australia (online)
Jacob Boehme is a critically acclaimed theatre maker and choreographer, from the Nharangga and Kaurna Nations, creating work for stage, screen, large-scale public events and festivals. Jacob is also Director, First Nations Programs at Carriageworks, Australia’s largest multi-arts centre. For contemporary and experimental arts.
Alumnus of NASIDA College of Dance and the Victorian College of the Arts, (MA in Arts – Playwriting, MA in Arts – Puppetry) Jacob has led the artistic direction of Tanderrum (Melbourne Festival), Boon Wurrung Ngargee (Yalukit Willam Festival), Thuwathu (Cairns Indigenous Arts Fair), Geelong After Dark and was the founding Creative Director of Yirramboi Festival, recipient of the 2018 Green Room Award for Curatorial Contribution to Contemporary and Experimental Arts.
Jacob is the writer and performer of the critically acclaimed solo work Blood on the Dance Floor, recipient of the 2017 Green Room Award Best Independent Production.
Jacob is an Australia Council for the Arts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellow and has been a member of International Advisory Committees for the Calouste Gulbenkian UK Inquiry into the Role of Arts Organisations, the Ministry of Culture Taiwan South East Asia Advisory Panel, the Global First Nations Advisory and Bibu Festival International First Nations Curatorial Committee.
Jacob is developing The Wild Dog Project: a multi-disciplinary exhibition and gathering, connecting dingo stories and songlines between South Australia, Northern Territory, Far North Queensland and South East Asia, as part of Tarnanthi Festival in 2022.
Jacob is currently the inaugural Director First Nations Programs for Carriageworks, one of Australia’s largest experimental and multi-arts venues.
Artistic director of performing arts organisation Kinani Mosambik – Mozambique
Born in Maputo – Mozambique, Quito Abrão Tembe holds a Bachelor Degree of Arts in Cultural Management and Cultural Studies. Tembe started his career in as a dancer and theatre actor, where he found interest in the technique and therefore decided to do studies in scenography and lighting. He worked as a light designer at the Mozambican French Cultural Center between 2001 and 2007, where he was responsible for creating and implementing local and international artistic projects under the direction of Jean Michel and Francois Belorgey.
Quito had collaborated in numerous productions in light design and scenography and had been working (and sporadically continues to work) as light and/or set designer with various choreographers and dance companies in Mozambique and abroad. In film. he participated in short and long local and international movies. As a curator, he has continuously curated tours form Mozambican and South African region groups. Since 2005, he is the artistic director of the Maputo based performing arts organization Kinani, running a creative residencies as well as a biennial international performing arts, the KINANI Festival. He also teaches for final year drama students light design at ECA - Universidade Eduardo Modlane.
Programme director of DocuDays UA, the Ukrainian international human rights film festival – Ukraine (online)
Having 10-years experience of developing film festivals, Victoria Leshchenko lives and works in Kyiv, Ukraine. Victoria’s background is in Cultural studies. After graduation of National University Kyiv Mohyla Academy she joined the team of Molodist International Film Festival. During 2007-2011 I was engaged here in different activities from being the editor-in-chief of festival publications to the program coordinator. Since 2010 she has been working for Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival as program coordinator. In February 2019 she was promoted to the festival program director. In 2022 relocated from Kyiv to Berlin because of full-scale Russian army invasion in Ukraine.
Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival (docudays.ua) is a regular event with the annual 20K attendance in Kyiv and 100K in the regions of Ukraine. In March 2021 the 18th festival edition took place. Member of the IHRFN.
Cofounder of Rooftop Theatre, member of the Leadership Circle of the IMPACT project, artistic director of Buffer Fringe Festival – Cyprus/United States of America
Ellada Evangelou was born and raised in Cyprus. She has studied in Cyprus and the United States. She has worked as a dramaturg, theater director, workshop facilitator, and independent consultant, in collaboration with theater companies, NGOs, and international organisations, including UNDP and the Anna Lindh Foundation. She teaches theater and dramaturgy courses in higher education in Cyprus and the United States. She is interested in the relationship between theater/dramaturgy and identity, and works in the intersection of aRtivism and scholarship in post-colonial, post-conflict communities.
She is co-founder of Rooftop Theatre, was a member of the Leadership Circle of the IMPACT Project (2017-21), and a 2020-21 Global Fellow of the International Society for the Performing Arts. From 2019 -2021 she was the Artistic and Executive Director of the Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival, and in 2022 she part of the new inclusive curation model of the Buffer Fringe festival, as a member of the Buffer Fringe Hive, working closely with the Home for Cooperation, in Nicosia, Cyprus.
Kee Hong Low
Creative director of The Factory/Manchester International Festival, director of programs (theatre) at West Kowloon Cultural District – Hong Kong
Kee Hong Low is currently the Creative Director at the Manchester International Festival and The Factory. Manchester International Festival (MIF) is the world’s first festival of original, new work and special events, staged every two years in Manchester, UK. MIF launched in 2007 as an artist-led festival presenting new works from across the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture. We work hard to guarantee that our work is as sustainable, accessible and diverse as possible MIF has commissioned, produced and presented world premieres by artists including Marina Abramović, Damon Albarn, Björk, Boris Charmatz, Jeremy Deller, Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah, Elbow, Philip Glass, Wayne McGregor, Steve McQueen, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Skepta, Yoko Ono, Thomas Ostermeier, Maxine Peake, Punchdrunk, The xx, Robert Wilson and Zaha Hadid Architects.
These and other world-renowned artists from different art forms and backgrounds create dynamic, innovative and forward-thinking new work, staged in venues across Greater Manchester –from theatres, galleries and concert halls to railway depots, churches and car parks. MIF works closely with venues, festivals and other cultural organisations globally, whose financial and creative input helps to make many of these projects possible and ensures that work made at MIF goes on to be seen around the world.
MIF will also be the operator for The Factory, the new world-class cultural space being developed in the heart of Manchester, designed by internationally-renowned architects Rem Koolhaas’ OMA. The Factory will commission, present and produce a year-round programme, featuring new work from the world’s greatest artists and offering a space to make, explore and experiment.
Kee Hong was formerly the Head of Theatre at the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Hong Kong SAR China. Before joining West Kowloon, he was the Artistic Director and General Manager of the Singapore Arts Festival from 2009 to 2012. Prior to this, Kee Hong was the Founding Director and General Manager of the Singapore Biennale between 2005 to 2009.
Artistic director of the international platform Panorama Raft – Brazil
Nayse López is a journalist, scriptwriter and performing arts curator.
Since 2001 she also became a curator and general director of one of the biggest performing arts festivals in Brazil, where she developed several expertise in curating and organizing small and large events with international guests. She has also a long career as a lecturer on cultural management, art and media, and has attended hundreds of international events as a guest speaker.
In 2018, she was one of the curators and artistic directors of the project riofestiv.al, the first entirely online arts festival in Brazil, where different new formats of online artistic presence were created, including the live streaming of six performances.
In 2020, she directed the project Panorama Luto, a live tribute to the victims of covid-19 in Brazil that lasted 51h live on YouTube and brought together more than 300 artists, activists and people of all professions, from Alto Xingu to Stockholm, reading texts about mourning, hope, solidarity, art and freedom.
In 2021, she will be taking on the artistic direction of the international platform Panorama Raft, which will create 10 unreleased performances created to be seen online in pandemic times.
Deputy director for programs of Mystetskyi Arsenal National Art and Culture Museum Complex – Ukraine (online)
Born in Cherkasy (Ukraine), Anna Pohribna lives and works in Kyiv. She graduated from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy with a degree in Cultural studies. From 2012 to 2017, she was a part of the CSM / Foundation Centre for Contemporary Art team. As a project manager, she worked with public space issues, participatory art practices, and cultural journalism. Since 2017 she has been working for Mystetskyi Arsenal. She was in charge of the exhibition projects, implemented a mentoring program for the project managers and an internship project, and compiled several publications. In 2021 she was promoted to the deputy director and now is responsible for book and literature programs, education, and digital transformation.
Mystetskyi Arsenal (artarsenal.in.ua/en) is Ukraine’s flagship public cultural institution that operates in the historical building of ХVIII-XIX centuries. Mystetskyi Arsenal integrates and develops various arts – from contemporary art and theater to literature and museum development. The International Book Arsenal Festival is an annual project of Mystetskyi Arsenal, founded in 2011. It is an intellectual event where the book, literary, visual, musical, and theatrical scenes interact, where the important issues of human existence, society, and culture are raised, prompting the proactive position of the participants and visitors.
Managing director Festival TransAmériques – Canada
A tenacious entrepreneur, David Lavoie helped create the Théâtre Aux Écuries, a veritable incubator of theatre, and served as its general manager from 2005 to 2012. The following year, the Conseil québécois du théâtre acknowledged his exceptional contributions and awarded him its Prix Sentinelle. Co-founder of the Festival du Jamais Lu, David Lavoie was its administrative director until 2012. He also assisted Théâtre de la Pire Espèce with its local and international activities as administrative director, and has also worked with Théâtre du Grand Jour and the Festival du nouveau cinéma.
Concerned about the professional and institutional issues facing the arts, David Lavoie shares his expertise with several cultural organizations. He was a member of the board of directors for the Association des compagnies de théâtre, the Association des diffuseurs spécialisés en théâtre, the magazine Liberté and Rubberband Dance, and serves today on the board of directors for the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership. He was co-president of the Conseil québécois du théâtre from 2016 to 2018, working in conjunction with Brigitte Haentjens. Always ready to help improve conditions for artists, he plays an active role in mobilizing forces and resources.
His unfailing and structured commitment to supporting emerging artists continues, and he acts as a mentor and consultant for many young artists. With a degree in business administration from the École des Hautes Études Commerciales in Montreal, the co-executive and administrative director of the FTA also has a black belt in kung fu. Keenly interested in collective intelligence and projects with liberating power, David Lavoie directs the FTA with an acute awareness of the future of its imperatives.
Artistic director of Festival TransAmériques – Canada
As a dramaturge and artistic advisor for Festival TransAmériques from 2014 to 2021, Jessie Mill has developed a sophisticated understanding of Quebec’s dance and theatre practises as well as their ties to the global performing arts scene, which she has followed closely over the past fifteen years. In June 2021, driven by a collective endeavour, together with Martine Dennewald, she became co-artistic director of FTA.
Passionate about contemporary writing, she served as the international projects advisor at the Centre des auteurs dramatiques (CEAD) from 2010 to 2014. Head of foreign programming for four editions of Dramaturgies en dialogue, she was also in charge of the centre’s translation activities.
Along with Martin Faucher, who invited her to join the FTA team in 2014, she developed the FTA Playgrounds, and created the FTA Clinics in 2016. This artistic support programme designed to benefit the local theatre and dance communities quickly went global (France, Germany, Italy, Flanders), bringing together a large international community of dramaturges. In 2020, Mill co-created and hosted the FTA-produced podcast Habiter la vie. She also co-edited the book FTA : Nos jours de fête, published with Somme toute in 2018, and is currently working on a dramaturgy handbook, a joint publication forthcoming in 2022.
Fostering close ties with local artistic communities, Jessie Mill supports various theatre and dance projects as a dramaturge. She has also published several essays on the performing arts, namely in the cultural journal Liberté, where she serves on the editorial board. She occasionally works as a visiting instructor, course lecturer, or mentor at the University of Ottawa, at the National Theatre School of Canada, and at the Université du Québec à Montréal, in addition to offering cross-disciplinary workshops on dramaturgy. She has been a long-time collaborator of the pan-African festival Les Récréâtrales, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, where she provides guidance to young artists as part of the LABO ELAN programme. She hopes to build bridges between her two favourite festivals.
Artistic director of Festival TransAmériques – Canada
After studying dramaturgy (Leipzig, Germany) and cultural management (London, UK), Martine Dennewald began her career at LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) and went on to work at Kortárs Drámafesztivál in Budapest and at Schauspielhaus in Zurich. She then served as curator for the “Young Directors Project” at the Salzburg Festival from 2006 to 2011, and later joined Niels Ewerbeck as dramaturg at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt, serving as acting co-director of the venue for a year, along with Marcus Dross and Martina Leitner.
From 2014 to 2020, she was the artistic director of Festival Theaterformen, held by turns in the German cities of Hanover and Braunschweig. Founded in 1989, this international performing arts festival boasts a strong non-European programme and explores a different contemporary issue every year. In 2016, Dennewald thus focused on translation and intercultural mediation, with emphasis on artistic work from five major Asian cities, followed by a 2017 edition dedicated entirely to female directors and choreographers. In 2018, the festival programme investigated the artistic and structural challenges facing the postcolonial world.
At the head of Festival Theaterformen, Martine Dennewald developed a vast global network, particularly in Europe and in Eastern and South-East Asia. Fluent in eight languages, she takes an active interest in global cultural policies.
From 2019 to 2021, Martine Dennewald served as vice-president of the International Theatre Institute, which oversees Theater der Welt, the largest international theatre festival in Germany. She also shared her passion for the visual arts with the public by volunteering as a gallery guide at the Kestnergesellschaft contemporary art museum in Hanover.
In July 2021, together with Jessie Mill, she took the helm of Festival TransAmériques in Montréal as co-artistic director.
Former artistic director of Festival TransAmériques – Canada
Marie-Hélène Falcon is a former artistic director for theatre and dance in Quebec.
She was born in Montreal and studied philosophy and theatre at the Université du Québec à Montréal. She was artistic director for the Festival du théâtre étudiant du Québec and co-director for the Association québécoise du jeune théâtre. Falcon was co-founder of the Festival de théâtre des Amériques which later evolved into the Festival TransAmériques and served as its director and artistic director until her departure in June 2014. She also founded Théâtres du monde in 1996 and Nouvelles Scènes in 1997.
Falcon has been frequently invited to participate in international festivals and conferences on contemporary theatre. She has been a member of various award juries and advisory committees in Canada, the United States and Latin America. She received the Gascon-Thomas Award from the National Theatre School of Canada in 1998. She was named a Chevalier in the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and became an Officer in the National Order of Quebec in 2003.
Artistic director International Documentary Festival Amsterdam – Netherlands/Syria (online)
Orwa Nyrabia is the Artistic Director of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the world’s largest documentary film and new media festival. Before IDFA, Orwa co-founded Syria’s first independent film festival, DOX BOX, with Diana El Jeiroudi, and worked as producer, with credits such as Republic of Silence (Diana El Jeiroudi, Venice 2021), Notturno (Gianfranco Rosi, Venice 2020), Silvered Water (Ossama Mohammad and W. Bedirxan, Cannes 2014), Return to Homs (Talal Derki, IDFA 2013) and Dolls, A Woman from Damascus (Diana El Jeiroudi, IDFA 2007) a.o.
His work was recognized by awards such as the George Polk Award, the HRW Courage in Filmmaking Award, and the Katrin Cartlidge Award, a.o. He is a co-founder and the chair of the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR), and a board member of DOX BOX e.V and the Festival Academy. In the period 2012-2013 he served as board member for Syria's prinemt grassroots activists network, the Local Coordination Committees (LCC) and as interim director for the Violations Documentation Center, an independent Syrian human rights organization.
An actor by training (Gate of the Sun, Yusri Nassrallah, Cannes 2004), he started his film career as 1st AD of Ossama Mohammad (Sacrifices, Cannes 2002) and worked as a journalist at the same time until he co-founded his first company in Damascus 2002, and later in Berlin where he co-founded No Nation Films in 2014.
Program coordinator/Theatre of the Oppressed activist, Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization (AHRDO), representative of Peaceful Heart Network – Afghanistan
Salim Rajabi was born on July 15, 1982, in Afghanistan but grew up in Pakistan. His family and himself left Afghanistan when the civil war begun and he has lived more than half of his life as a refugee in Pakistan. He went to school there and got his MA equivalent in Islamic Law.
In late 2001, after the fall of the Taliban regime, his family returned to Afghanistan and he started working with many different organizations, such as JRU-PAC, SORA and UNAMA in Kabul. He helped AHRDO to be established in 2009 and became one of Afghan’s first-ever Playback and Theatre of the Oppressed practitioner in Afghanistan.
In brief, over the course of one and half decade long career, he has made significant contribution to grassroots levels institution-building, democratic and civil society developments, human rights and women rights promotion, peace-building and transitional justice. To achieve all these ideals, he has always applied Theatre of the Oppressed, playback Theatre and Memory Boxes initiative around the country.
Project implementations: overall, Salim has implemented more than 55 small, medium and large projects in areas of human rights promotion, democratic developments and grassroots level empowerment and social mobilization. In August 2021, when the country fell in to the hands of Taliban, his family and himself were faced with life threat, so he left his home country to Canada.
Associate Professor and Head Wits School of Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg – South Africa
Brett Pyper is a South African arts, culture and heritage practitioner with over thirty years’ experience advancing and studying the country’s cultural-democratic transition. He grew up between Johannesburg and Pretoria/Tshwane, where his background as a classical musician informed his efforts to open up programming at the former performing arts councils as a young arts organiser. In the early 1990s, he arranged the first post-exile performances in Tshwane by returning jazz icons as well as showcasing the work of an emerging generation of musicians. He also worked with singer-songwriters, choirs, Afrikaans counter-cultural artists and colleagues in related performance disciplines including dance and theatre. Based on this work, as a Fulbright scholar, he earned Master’s degrees from Emory University in Atlanta (in Interdisciplinary Studies) and New York University, where he earned his PhD on contemporary jazz culture in South Africa in 2014. He has taught arts, culture and heritage policy and management as well as ethnomusicology and popular music studies at Wits and Rhodes Universities. From 2008 to 2013 he was CEO of the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK), a major festival of art, popular and vernacular culture. He recently completed an 8-year term as Head of the Wits School of Arts, where he pursues ongoing research alongside his leadership responsibilities and supervises postgraduate work in music, theatre, dance, heritage and cultural policy. He regularly serves as a mentor for The Festival Academy, having co-hosted Atelier Johannesburg in 2018 – the first on the African continent.
Chairwoman of Fundación Cambio Democrático, member of the advisory board of Crear Vale La Pena – Argentina (online)
Carmen Olaechea, from Argentina, has been working with the Latin American civil society for over 33 years, in NGOs, networks and in an international donor foundation. Her responsibilities have included: the design, development and supervision of projects and programs; knowledge and risk management and the promotion of networks. She has developed conceptual and strategic frameworks; led institutional change processes; designed and implemented collaborative learning architectures; evaluated local and international projects and managed risks at both operational and strategic levels.
Her publications include two co-authored books on art and social transformation, and three children’s books. Carmen is chairwoman of Fundación Cambio Democrático, an NGO specialized in dialogue and conflict transformation and member of the advisory board of Crear Vale La Pena, a leading Latin-American NGO in the field of arts for social transformation.
In addition, Carmen offers in Argentina, Spain, and Latin-American countries workshops on art and social transformation, sustainability and on how to respond to a paradigm shift. Also works as an independent advisor to individuals, social, and business leaders and their organizations, helping them integrate new perspectives in their thinking and action. As expert in sustainability she accompany individuals, organizations and schools in the development of programs for their transformation processes towards sustainability.
Christine van Winkle
Professor at the University of Manitoba and associate faculty member at Royal Roads University – Canada
Christine van Winkle is a professor of Recreation Management at the University of Manitoba. As a former festival coordinator and attraction consultant, Christine brings both practical experience and theory-based research to inform practice. Christine is committed to community-based research that explores visitor experiences at events. Throughout her career she has explored learning at events, information and communication technology at events and event emergency management. Christine’s work is widely published in event, leisure and tourism journals and she has received numerous Emerald Literati awards for her work published in the International Journal of Event and Festival Management.
Contemporary dance curator, performer, educator, writer and researcher, co-founder of the Festival international de nouvelle danse and the Tangente dance performance space, co-creator and managing editor of Turba: The Journal for Global Practices in Live Arts Curation - Canada
Dena Davida has been a contemporary dance curator, performer, educator, writer and researcher for 45 years. She has lived in Montréal since 1977, where she co-founded the Festival international de nouvelle danse and the Tangente dance performance space (1980-1929). She taught dance practice and theory in the Dance Department at the Université du Québec à Montréal (1979-2010) where she completed a doctoral dissertation with an ethnographic study of meaning in a contemporary dance event (2006).
Her writing on dance and culture and live arts curation has been widely published in magazines, journals, and books. She co-edited the anthologies Fields in Motion: Ethnography in the worlds of dance (2012), and Curating Live Arts: Critical perspectives, essay and conversation in theory and practice (2018). Her current project: co-creator and managing editor of Turba: The Journal for Global Practices in Live Arts Curation.
THE FESTIVAL ACADEMY ALUMNI
Founder and festival director of GIFT: Gateshead International Festival of Theatre – United Kingdom
Kate Craddock is Founder and Festival Director of GIFT: Gateshead International Festival of Theatre, an annual artist-led festival celebrating contemporary theatre. Kate established GIFT in 2011 to provide a platform for international, contemporary, and experimental performance practices in North East England. Kate works closely with BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Gateshead Council to deliver GIFT in Gateshead each year. GIFT was one of the first festivals globally to pivot online in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, Kate has spoken on numerous international panels and conferences about her experience of moving a festival online and consulted with other festivals and artists about pivoting their work for online contexts. GIFT 2020 was awarded the Journal Culture Award for Best Event 2020 – 2021. Kate recently published a chapter called ‘Curating Community and Connection in a Crisis’ about her experience of transitioning GIFT online as part of a book called Performance in a Pandemic (Routledge, 2021).
As a theatre maker, Kate has presented her own devised performance work at a range of organisations across the UK and in multiple international festival contexts to critical acclaim. Kate was recipient of the Theatre Fellowship with the Clore Cultural Leadership Programme 2018/19, and undertook a secondment with HOME, a major arts venue in Manchester. Kate was part of the British Council and Arts Council GENERATE programme (2019/2020) and is currently working alongside national consortium partners at Battersea Arts Centre, Dance4, Fierce Festival, MAYK and Transform to deliver the new Arts Council commissioned England's Performing Arts International Showcase for Edinburgh's Festivals.
Kate has combined working across academic roles and creative projects since 2005 and is currently a Research Associate in the School of English at Newcastle University. In this role, Kate is co-authoring a book with colleague Helen Freshwater about audiences, which is due for publication in 2023. Prior to this, Kate was a Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University (2011 – 2019) where she led on the industry focused MA Theatre and Performance programme. Kate completed her practice led PhD in 2010 with the title: ‘Collaboration in Performance Practice: Trust, Longevity and Challenging Proximity’ which focused on the potential for using readily available online technologies in creative collaborations. Kate is a Trustee for ARC, Stockton Arts Centre and The Paper Birds Theatre Company.
FESTIVAL TRANSAMÉRIQUES JOINT SESSION LATIN AMERICA – ADDITIONAL SPEAKERS
Co-founder of elgalpon.espacio, cultural administrator, audiovisual producer, interdisciplinary artist – Peru
Diana Daf Collazos is a co-founder of the interdisciplinary art space elgalpon.espacio in Lima, Peru, as well as a cultural administrator, audiovisual producer, and interdisciplinary artist. Her work draws on various creative languages, including performance, photography, installation art, video and documentary. Her work features the body as living primary text, generator and vector of collective memory, incarnating acts that problematize the public space. Her work has been presented in Latin America, the United States and Europe. Recent works include the performative documentary Preludio, ficciones del silencio and the feature film Círculo de Tiza.
Maria José Cifuentes
Artistic and managing director of NAVE, Creation and Residency Center in Santiago – Chile
María José Cifuentes Miranda (b. 1980, Chile) holds a PhD in history from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and an MA in performance and visual culture from the University of Alcalá, in Spain. She is an historian, teacher, researcher and programmer in the field of performing arts.
Author of Historia Social de la Danza en Chile 1940-1990 (2007), Danza independiente en Chile and Reconstrucción de una escena 1990-2000 (2009), editor of Repensar la Dramaturgia, Errancia y Transformación (2010), she also directed the Festival Escena Doméstica from 2011 to 2014. María José Cifuentes is currently the artistic and executive director of NAVE, a residence and creative hub in Santiago de Chile.
Actor, performer, director and cultural entrepreneur – Burkina Fasso
Originally from Burkina Faso, the actor, director and artistic director Étienne Minoungou studied sociology and theatre before founding the Récréâtrales in Ouagadougou in 2002, a pan-African space for writing, creation, research and theatrical dissemination.
The biennial festival of the same name quickly became one of the most important theatre events in French-speaking Africa. Starting in 2014, his acting career took flight in Africa and Europe with Dieudonné́ Niangouna’s M’appelle Mohamed Ali and Aimé Césaire’s Cahier d’un retour au pays natal. These two solos were followed by another in 2017: Si nous voulons vivre, a collage of chronicles and interviews by Sony Labou Tansi. Traces – Discours aux Nations Africaines was created in 2018 for the inauguration of the Museum of Black Civilizations in Dakar.
Theatre director, filmmaker, choreographer and performer – Greece
A leading light of the new Greek performing arts scene, the choreographer and performer Euripides Laskaridis has been appearing on stage since 1995 and has collaborated with many different artists, including Robert Wilson and Dimitris Papaioannou. Aiming for a flamboyant visual theatre, he has been creating his own stage and film works since 2000. He founded his company Osmosis in 2009 during the Greek financial crisis.
An extraordinary creator of characters, Laskaridis dresses up to transform his body into a theatre where gods, monsters, humans and machines come together in a mélange of circus, theatre and dance. Laskaridis received the Pina Bausch Fellowship in 2016, which allowed him to observe the director and choreographer Lemi Ponifasio at work in New Zealand and Chile.
His 2014 solo piece Relic was presented at some thirty international festivals. It features an artificial transgendered body, parachuted into domestic life. He continued to pursue his exploration of transformation and the ridiculous in Titans, which attracted a lot of attention at the FTA in 2018. Decked out in costumes and prostheses, he created a celestial world predating the gods where all the languages of the stage contribute to the creation of mystifying, poetic performances. In the third part of his trilogy on the human condition, coproduced by the FTA, Laskaridis brings to life ten characters who reveal the limits of our ideals, our perpetually evolving selves.
Multidisciplinary artist, founder of MAYDAY dance company, choreographer – Canada
Mélanie Demers is a multidisciplinary artist who has choreographed over 30 works presented in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. A creator of movements but above all a weaver of relationships, she founded the company MAYDAY in 2007.
Goodbye (FTA, 2012), a shrewd blend of dance and theatre, reflected on art and its artifices. Her fascination for the interplay of words and gestures was crystallized in Would (2015), which won the CALQ Prize for Best Choreographic Work. In 2016, she began a creative cycle with Animal triste and Icône pop, which won an award at the SummerWorks Performance Festival in Toronto. After contributing to the choreography for Pluton-Actes 2 (FTA, 2016), she initiated Danse Mutante (2019), an ambitious choreographic relay unfolding across three continents. La Goddam Voie Lactée (FTA, 2021), a work about incompleteness and the unpredictable, was produced in response to the present social and political context. In 2021, Demers received the Grand Prix de la danse de Montréal recognizing her oeuvre as a whole.
CULTURAL PROGRAMME SPEAKERS
Programme Officer for Culture with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO – Canada
Barbara Filion is the Programme Officer for Culture, with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. She has previously worked as a consultant and served as the Reconciliation Program Director at the Canadian Museums Association. Prior to that, she was the Director of Education at Working Assumptions, a national organization based in Berkeley, California, that uses art to examine social issues. Barbara has over 20 years of experience in the museum field. She taught and was a thesis advisor in the Museum Studies Program, at JFK University in California and also served as the Associate Director of the Archaeology Museum at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. Barbara grew up in the region of La Mauricie in Quebec and is a member of the Ilnu Nation of Mashteuiatsh.
Former general manager of Festival Innu Nikamu – Innu Nation/Mani-Utenam Community/Canada
Since 1985, Sylvain Vollant has held several positions at Festival Innu Nikamu: a volunteer in the first years (artist management, accommodation, logistics), and a coordinator of the festival, of which he took on the general management until 2009.
Sylvain is a resident of Maliotenam.
Assistant to the executive and artistic direction at La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines – Canada
Holder of a master's degree in political science from UQÀM, Gabriel Theriault (he/him) has long been interested in the relationship between arts and politics. His artistic interests reflect our contemporaneity: diverse and out of the ordinary.
Engaged in Montreal’s cultural community through the FTA and CINARS among others, Gabriel is particularly interested in the cause of emerging artists and cultural workers.
Since April 2019, he's been working as the assistant to the executive and artistic direction at La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines (Montreal, Canada).
Cultural producer and production director at Panorama Festival – Brazil
Rafael Fernandes is a cultural producer who has been working in the production, management, and fundraising for cultural projects for the past 15 years.
Has been working especially with performing arts, performance, and contemporary dance initiatives, such as festivals, artistic occupation projects, production of companies on national and international tours.
Since 2009 has been part of the Panorama Festival team, currently as the Production Director. From 2014 to 2021 was the executive producer and tour manager of Cia Suave in several national and international tours. In 2021 produced the Panorama Raft / Jangada editions and developed the project "Entrando na Dança Queer", which resulted in the film THE FACE OF BALL.
Nowadays is focused on the production and the career management of young artists, especially the ones linked to artistic manifestations of urban culture, outskirt background and gender / sexuality issues. Also has been researching the development of tools for the internationalization of Brazilian performing arts.
Co-Founder and Chief Policy, Impact and Government Relations Officer at anti-poverty organisation Global Citizen - Australia
Michael Sheldrick is a Co-Founder and Chief Policy, Impact and Government Relations Officer at Global Citizen, an anti-poverty organization whose campaigns have led to more than $41 billion distributed, 1.15 billion lives affected, and 30.4 million actions taken around the world in the last decade.
Michael leads Global Citizen’s policy and advocacy campaigns to rally support from governments,
businesses and foundations to end extreme poverty. He has worked on campaigns globally with artists
including Beyoncé, Coldplay, Idris and Sabrina Elba, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Priyanka Chopra, Rihanna,
Usher, and world leaders including Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, Canadian Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, former
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and former Australian Prime Ministers Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd.
Michael was one of the four co-founders of Global Citizen who spearheaded its first major advocacy
campaign – The End of Polio – in 2011, which raised $118 million with the support of John Legend and then
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Recent policy and advocacy successes under Michael’s leadership
include partners announcing more than $1.5B in commitments, 88M shared COVID-19 doses, and pledges
to contribute 157M trees in 2021 during two of Global Citizen’s key events: VAX LIVE: The Concert to
Reunite The World in May 2021 and Global Citizen Live in September 2021.
Michael has written on development issues in Forbes, the Guardian, Huffington Post, The Diplomatic
Courier, The Diplomat Magazine, The South China Morning Post, The West Australian, and Fairfax Media.
He has been interviewed by ABC, BBC, The New Yorker, Forbes Magazine, VICE Impact and Sky News
among others. Michael’s efforts, and those of the team he leads, was profiled in National Geographic’s
Activate series aired in 2019. He was named by the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth as a finalist
for 2017 Young Commonwealth Person of the Year. He is also a board member for the Ban Ki-moon Centre
for Global Citizens and the Advisory Board of Parliamentarians for the Global Goals. Michael holds degrees
in law and political science from the University of Western Australia, and was 2013 Young Western
Australian of the Year.
Senior Manager of Programming at The Bentway - Canada
Anna Gallagher-Ross (she/her) is a curator and writer working across performance, dance, and visual arts, with an emphasis on site-specific and socially-engaged practices. Currently, she is Senior Manager of Programming at The Bentway, an innovative site in downtown Toronto that commissions and presents performances, public art projects, and community events that are of the city; about the city; for the city.
From 2017-2021, Anna was Co-Artistic Director & Curator of Fusebox Festival, the acclaimed international performance festival, which features interdisciplinary artists from Austin, the U.S., and around the world. At Fusebox, Anna also curated year-round performances, artist residencies, public art projects, and civic initiatives.
In 2020, Anna was a guest curator at Performance Space Sydney’s Live Works Festival. She was also part of the inaugural cohort of GENERATE (2019-20), a joint program of the British Council and Arts Council England that promotes exchange between a select group of US and UK performance curators and producers.