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Inside/Insight Festivals


Behind the applause and footlights, festivals are complex creatures that require careful tending and nurturing. Each festival director brings his/her own vision, experience, intuition, ambition and inspiration to the process of shaping it – each negotiating in his or her manner the politics, economics, and social realities of the city where it takes place.

It is the desire to unveil the often invisible processes of festival thinking and making that prompted CultureLink to initiate the publication Inside/Insight Festivals in collaboration with the European Festivals Association (EFA). It is co-published by CultureLink and the EFA in the framework of the EFA BOOKS series.

Nine former artistic directors of Festivals, all women, are invited to share their own experience, intuition, ambition and inspiration in shaping a Festival, and in negotiating the politics and the social realities of the city in which their festival inhabits. Through their revelations, the publication opens a window to understanding the state and status of the arts, of festivals, of artists, of arts policies, offering diverse perspectives of festival development and business past, present, and future.

Robyn Archer is a key figure in Australian festival life; Maria Magdalena Schwaegermann has left marks on the German, Swiss and Australian festival landscapes; Serina Chen has been a fireball of activity on the Taiwanese cultural scene; Belgian Frie Leysen is one of the most experienced personalities on the international theatre scene; Thorunn Sigurdardottir sheds light on culture in Iceland, where she works; Rose Fenton and Lucy Neal co-founded a highly successful festival in the UK that is still up and running; Carla van Zon looks at the arts and cultural exchanges in New Zealand; and Ching-Lee Goh has contributed immensely to further the place of Singaporean artists and festival networking.

EFA Press Release

Productions on Tour

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Inside/Insight Festivals
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