Inclusion Day 2020 Message
by Noora Karjalainen
One day the theater forgot its significance, lost empathy and the human being. The human image featured two feet, two hands, five senses, one tongue, binary sex and gender. The performances, one after another repeated the same homogeneity and excluded a great deal of its audience and surrounding reality: we can perform and represent you, but you are not welcome here.
A peculiar inter-species struggle in which the privileged ones rumbled the weaker ones and, with institutional support and theater conventions, could develop further in peace and silence. And when there was a spectator in the audience who didn't share a similar life and world view, it came as a shock. What do we do now? Don't just sit too close or at least don´t attract attention, because your presence spoils our art. And especially, don't get on stage.
At a time when the importance of performing arts is being debated and renegotiated, it is becoming increasingly important to critically examine the agency in theater. Not opposing each other, but together, in a shared space, in A dialogue, bare, open, present, as our true selves, as us. That is why we are dismantling the structures, the dusty institutions, taking the theater to the present and beyond, for theater should not only be an image of its time, but also a window to the future: in theater, an alternative world is possible, intersectional and inclusive.
Theater will remember its significance again: it is the mirror of society and the image of human beings. Today we turn our eyes to our actions and direct a curious and forward looking gaze to them.
We reflect on what kind of world we want to be building and what kind of traces we want to leave for other people with our actions. We understand our responsibilities and are ready to confront the unknown, the stranger, the other. We become sensitized to listening to others and raising each other towards a common goal. To make every day an inclusive day.