The annual Eko Theatre Carnival is around the corner again. When the rhythm changes, the dance changes too. Therefore, the 2020 edition of ETC shall be a mixture of a blend of the minimized ‘real’ and maximized virtual. We shall make and call this edition a ‘Real_Tual’. A blend of the ‘real’ and ‘virtual,’ a pastiche of artistic offerings, a potpourri of dancing steps.
The art has never shied away from its traditional role of rising to the occasion in times of tribulations and triumphs. At moments such as the ones imposed on us by the pandemic, with all sorts of pandemics, human and viral, jostling for the upper hand, we feel now is the time to rouse again our ancestral masks to play their unifying role.
One would think that the normal reaction to any common threat to human existence would be to bond with others, but it beggars belief to see the ongoing global polarization the politics of the pandemics have brought. Covid-19 does not share the discriminatory trait of the human race. The disease has no taste or respect for class, skin colour, or gender. Covid-19 is a ravaging rain that falls on whom it finds.
What then shall we do? Fold our arms in resignation or roll up our sleeves in readiness to keep the flame of living alive? We have chosen the latter.
The times are hard we know; dare I even say the art community is one of the worst-hit. The strident voice of art faces the danger of being silenced. Artists are endangered and the global; fear is palpable but dance we must. The pandemic’s brutish knee is firmly placed on our creative necks and we ‘can’t breathe’…but like the great bard and sage Maya Angelou said, ‘…still’ we ‘rise’.
The 2020 edition of ETC shall reach you wherever you are, thanks to technology. Please stand with us as we face this collective challenge headlong.
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