After the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, the survey “Festivals programming in times of conflict” remains relevant and may identify some important needs.
During the past few weeks and months, EFA invited festivals to share their perspectives, actions, and efforts related to the war in Ukraine. Festivals were also surveyed about how they reacted to other conflicts beyond the Ukrainian war.
The survey was open from 14 April until 11 May 2022, and 142 festivals responded, showing solidarity with Ukrainians and victims around the world. A wide range of arts disciplines were represented by responses from 38 countries.
There are a variety of issues raised in the questions, including the effects of the war in Ukraine, how festivals support their Ukrainian counterparts, and the cultural boycott of Russian artists as a result of the war.
Several projects and remarks shared by the festivals were evidence of the high level of engagement as were the number of ‘Other’ open responses to the closed questions, demonstrating the desire to communicate about common concerns and ideas.
The survey shows that the world is not black or white, and gray zones are highlighted. The festival world demonstrates how diverse its opinions, its ideas, and its initiatives are. One of the most important conclusions is that there exists a strong wave of solidarity towards Ukraine: citizens, artists, festivals, and arts professionals. In addition to raising awareness about this terrible war, festivals want to support the Ukrainian arts and culture sector. Furthermore, festivals called attention to the fact that there are many people in need of protection, refugees from wars and conflicts in other parts of the world, and authoritarian regimes.
EFA states that we must continue to pay close attention to Ukraine in the upcoming weeks, months, and years, but we must always remember that we are humans and that only those who declare wars and support them are second-class citizens.
Read the survey here