Symposium Art and Social Change during APAC Theatre Festival Santa Cruz

June 2007 -

During the sixth Theatre Festival in Santa Cruz, Bolivia held in April 2007, the symposium Arte para la Transformación Social: Art for Social Change was held. The symposium was organised by Red LA para la Transformación Social, the Latin American network for social change. This network of 24 cultural organisations in Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, Chili and Brazil uses artistic workshops and projects - audiovisual art, theatre, dance, circus and music - to get socially challenged young people involved in themes such as social equality, human rights and interculturality.

Stimulating art as an instrument for social change is a challenge on which the international cooperation between the organisations in the region has had a positive effect. The symposium drew the important conclusion that communication strategies for cooperation between organisations and between the network and the national media in the relevant countries must be expanded. Inés Sanguinetti, chairperson of the Argentinean dance troupe Crear Vale la Pena, argued during the symposium that the principles of commercial communication and marketing strategies can also be a highly suitable artistic method because the multi-sense nature of the stage and body arts can be utilised.

Another point of discussion was cooperation with the local and national administrators. Social change simply cannot be achieved by civilian initiatives alone. Cultural institutions should therefore cooperate for their activities more intensively with businesses, national institutions and local administrators, ensuring that more influence can be exerted on social developments. The APAC Theatre Festival, which this year for the first time involved 22 villages in the Santa Cruz province in the festival, is a good example in that respect. Sixty percent of the entire budget came from the Bolivian government through a variety of local administrations.