Festival Theater der Welt
— Minister of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
»Art only becomes interesting once we are confronted by something that cannot immediately be explained«, said the visionary Christoph Schlingensief, whose retrospective runs parallel to Theater der Welt at the Kunstsammlung NRW.
For forty years Theater der Welt has been opening up spaces in which art has awakened our attention in this way. For the first time in its history the 2020 festival had to be postponed in the face of the pandemic that has presented
us all with enormous challenges. However, the funding bodies and presenters swiftly agreed to put on what is possible, to remain confident and to rethink international collaboration. Because art specialises in innovation. That’s why art centred thinking is so important right now. At this point thanks are due to the team led by Stefan Schmidtke and Wilfried Schulz. Despite all the adverse circumstances, and together with numerous partners, including the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen, tanzhaus nrw, the asphalt festival and the Kunstakademie, it has put together an outstanding programme: sound installations and dance, theatre and music, audio nights, performances and a programme of public lectures. The Third Space created by raumlaborberlin will turn the Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz into an open-air festival centre and give the city a new hub. For the first time, one third of the programme is aimed at children, young people and families. The international Young Theater der Welt Congress for one hundred young people from ten countries will be realized in a hybrid form across continental borders. I would like to wish you all a great deal of pleasure and plenty of discoveries that »cannot immediately be explained«.