When ideology suffers the hardest of blows, and when the populace loses interest in all things heroic, or political, what remains to engage a society’s interest is bread and circuses. Coined by the Roman satirist Juvenal, the phrase makes a sharp reference to the way that the government of the time had distracted people from the real issues of society by giving out dole in the form of food and entertainment.
Drawing from this background, The Bread and Circuses is an attempt to use the virtual medium to provide a platform to high school students to showcase their talent and take a stance on issues that are stirring the conscience of every society in this world.
‘The show must go on”. When P.T Barnum said this in the 19th century, little would he have imagined the form his quote would take on during a pandemic in the 21st century! Theatre is a communal experience of being with others in a space and watching a show unfold, and this very idea is now being challenged emphatically with a pandemic of an unimaginable global scale. But theatre is resistant; it is an art form that it has existed and flourished for 3000 years (and possibly more). Theatre helps us relate to each other and make sense of the world, and has consistently adapted its form to reflect our changed realities.
As the world around us is changing in many ways, theatre, too, is discovering unknown territories and redefining how we think of the very concept of live art. As performances around the globe ceased, many artists turned to virtual platforms to practise theatre, creating an opportunity to reach out to and engage with audiences around the world.
With an aim to reach out to high school students around the globe and provide their voices a platform, Kaafila 2020 is going Online!!
We ask that the festival theme, ‘Freedom: An Artistic Quest’ be kept in mind while preparing plays. The event will be a testament to the spirit of collaboration as students come together virtually to create performances from their own spaces. We hope that different schools will come together to create performances that will push the boundaries of collaborative art online. Let this become the student communities’ endeavour to make sense of the world around us, collectively.