WITH WINTER SOON AT OUR DOOR, DO YOU DREAM OF AN ALL-INCLUSIVE GETAWAY, COMPLETE WITH VISIONS OF PALM TREES AND DECK CHAIRS?
Annie Roy et Pierre Allard
Co-funders of ATSA
photo : Martin Savoie
THE THEME OF ÉU10 IS THE ALL-INCLUSIVE EXPERIENCE! A satirical critique of the glossy, squeaky-clean view of the world championed by travel agency brochures, which extol happiness as an all-inclusive package deal, the theme for the 2010 edition will mark a watershed for the event, with ATSA providing its own take on the aesthetic of the ALL-INCLUSIVE (bracelet, palm tree, deck chairs and parasols), questioning the phenomena of normalization, delegated control, institutionalized convenience, and the instant, all-you-want mindset. It promises to be the most impactful ÉU yet.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DON’T QUITE FIT INTO THE “PACKAGE”?
Can we in fact resist or refuse to be “included”? What forms can this refusal take? These questions are vital and in keeping with ATSA’s approach, which is to induce a confrontation, a visual clash that serves to convey the meaning behind the message. The ALL-INCLUSIVE is also a biting commentary on so-called cultural tourism and the pressure it exerts to homogenize artistic styles and forms. Beyond the ALL-INCLUSIVE, ATSA aims to emphasize respect, integration and coming together: the ALL INCLUDED.
FINAL EDITION? WHY?
It’s about time... and money. ATSA has invested a great deal of effort—and pleasure too, naturally—in developing État d’Urgence, in always upping the artistic ante, in generating projects and partnerships, and in improving the way volunteers are welcomed, security, front-line services, and social mediation strategies. Citizens get involved each year and we are very proud of that, yet all of this creates, year after year, an enormous logistical challenge in terms of human resources, sponsorships, communication, and so on. This would not be a problem per se if our sole wish was to produce État d’Urgence and État d’Urgence exclusively. However, ATSA’s mission, and the wishes of its artistic directors, is to produce other urban interventions and to address other issues. The sheer scale of État d’Urgence will soon leave no more time to do so, hence the question of money.
The question of financing is a year-long preoccupation for us. We have multiplied the number of funding applications specific to the event, increased the number of fundraisers and stepped up the search for private funds. It’s all too little, too late; replies to our requests invariably arrive at the last minute and we all too often need to pay large amounts out of pocket, without knowing if the financing will eventually come through. This makes it difficult for us to make enlightened budget decisions, and therefore to make decisions regarding our capacity to bring into reality what we have imagined. This in turn makes for great stress, lots of sleepless nights and one big energy drain. In short, we as artists need to be able to focus on creating something that is unique, rather than constantly worrying about the future of État d’Urgence from the standpoint of our organization’s financial health.
Substantial and recurrent funding dedicated to the production of État d’Urgence would enable ATSA to continue all of its activities without having to drop État d’Urgence. Otherwise, though, we will simply have to face the fact that we did absolutely all we could to develop this artistic and solidary adventure and that we took it as far as possible.
Organizations and citizens: do you want to help build pressure so that État d’Urgence can continue? Send a signed letter to ATSA at 4430 Drolet, Montreal, Quebec, H2W 2L8. It may very well help us make a final decision...
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