Report : meeting about YPAL after Reims 2016

Reunion on Sunday

Reunion on Sunday

42 YPALs have gathered in Reims, France in January 2016. At the end of the week-end, they have had a discussion about the project in the future. Hannah (Germany), Oriane (France), Anne (General Delegate of the Festival), Quentin (France), Oskar (Germany), Pia (Germany), Lucie (Germany), Milan (Bosnia), Jelena (Bosnia), Alexandra (France), Claire (France), Hélène (France), Pierre-Yves (France), Maria (Spain), Jennifer (France), Janne (Germany), Florian (France), Lena (Germany), Johanna (Germany), Sophie (Belgique), Pauline (France), Julia (France) were there.

Anne : We were glad to welcome the YPAL group again this year. I hope you all enjoyed this weekend. Be sure that we did. We were not sure that it would be possible to organize this YPAL meeting because we have had some cuts in the budget, but in the end it worked out very well and the project is still alive. We are here today because we want to talk about the future of the project and see whether another YPAL meeting could be organized this year.

Oskar : I really loved being here and I really want to thank you for inviting us !

Milan : This project is really great ! I have never seen anything alike.

Anne : Do you think there would be a way to organize a YPAL meeting in Bosnia some day ?

Milan : In Bosnia, there are not a lot of public subsidies. They could give us 5000 € to start a project like that, but this is it, we would not be able to get any more money. But it would be really great if it was possible to organize a YPAL meeting there. I work in a theatre in Kerstenburg. I would like to try to see if I would be able to organize something in collaboration with a non-governmental organization in Germany.

Anne : Even if there is not enough money, maybe some of us would like to come using our own money in order to try to develop something.

Milan : It would be great ! There is this festival in Kerstenburg in August. It lasts 30 days. A lot of cultural events happen there. We could build something with the Children’s Theatre of Republic of Srpska, which is the only puppet museum in eastern Europe, and which is a really big theatre. We should also build something in collaboration with the French institute there. They could probably help to manage something. Something more little than this festival and this YPAL meeting, but still. We will try to connect.

Oskar : I personally work for a dance theatre in Düsseldorf. I would like to see whether it is possible to do something there. I have a professor who is connected with all the theaters in Düsseldorf. She would love this project and maybe she could do something.

Janne : I work for the Theatre Freiburg. I work at the dance and performance art development there, and we would like to work on a project about heritage. We would like to invite some artists to work on this project, which is about what we are passing on when producing art. This project focuses on the relationship between the artists and the spectators, who see something and give something as well. It is about how the spectators are influenced by the artists’ works. This is exactly what we did during the workshop about Vania. 10 ans après. This is our project. There is nothing planned now, but we already know that we will be occupying a museum for 8 weeks. It is still a fantasy, but it would be very interesting for us to invite the YPAL group. However, in this project, they would be more active that we were this weekend. The YPALs would be creating a project. We would like to think of which role YPAL could play in this. This project would take place from March to May, 2017.

Anne : This kind of project totally corresponds to the YPAL spirit. This year we were kind of setting up things, but some other years, the YPALs have been organizing more things, have taken part in more workshops, etc. Next year, the festival Reims Scènes d’Europe will be about cultural diversity.

Florian : I was really glad to be here this year and I have liked a lot of the shows that I have seen. There were many young people coming to see the shows, and it was great. However, I think YPAL’s biggest issue is its selection process.  YPAL is a project that aims to bring spectators to the theatre. I personally only go to the theatre during YPAL meetings. It is a friend network : in order to recruit people, we bring our friends, who have the same profile as us. I think the YPAL communication and its way of recruiting should expand. To be honest, I also think that these YPAL meetings should not be free.

Anne : This YPAL meeting is not free : non-governmental organizations are paying for it.

Florian : I mean that it is free for people. It is too easy. We don’t pay for it, but there should be a price, which should not be too high, but still.

Quentin : I don’t agree with you. The selection criteria of YPAL is precisely that there are no selection criteria. People are totally free to join. And about the recruitment, well, the people who are interested in YPAL and who come to the meetings are people who work in culture as a matter of fact. There used to be no free food for the YPAL meetings in Reims, and people had to pay for the transports. And we tried to recruit people from Reims, so the network is not elitist, but people do not want to come.

Pia : I think it is not a question of selection but of to whom we talk about the YPAL meetings.

Anne : When this meeting will be over, we will all have different things to do. And then, in 5 or 6 months, I will think again about the project and about how I can find YPALs to take part in the next meeting in Reims. I would like to keep discussing with you about this project. in the beginning of the YPAL project, I could ask people if they wanted to have an intercultural dialog about art and if they wanted to invite people.

Oskar : There is also an issue with the website : when I searched on Google, I did not find anything about the YPAL project right away. It was quite complicated to find the website.

Anne : This is because it is a cheap website. It is complicated to find if there is not any activity on it, like it is the case right now. In order to try to solve this problem, you should post something on the website.

Quentin : It is a dead, sleeping website it you do not have any activities on it. The webmaster quit the project, plus there is a big concurrent : the Young Professional Alabama Louisville.

Anne : Oriane will send the code in order to get access to the website to you all.

Quentin : There is also a Facebook page, to which not everyone has access. And everybody does not have a Facebook profile. The website is quite open, but at the moment, there are some issues with it. If some of you want to make it better, we can create a little group.

Milan : I think I can help with that.

Pierre-Yves : I am sorry, but I have to leave. I will send you all a short presentation of my project, which is a theatre for young audiences.

Anne : The YPAL website is also just to share ideas.

Quentin : Yes, the YPAL website and the YPAL community have been created in order to share things. You can send us some things to share, and we can post them on the website.

Hélène : The YPAL website has also been created in order to be used by everyone. It would be great to see how everyone of us can manage to use it is order to develop this network.

Janne : If we organize something in Freiburg, how can we communicate about it ?

Quentin : We tried different ways of communicating. There is sort of a referent person for each country. And as for Reims, we have a file with all the people who have already come to Reims for a YPAL meeting. But we cannot share this file. However, you can communicate on the website. We also communicate a lot with Facebook. There is an official Facebook page where all the contents are posted : . When we built the website, we created an email address for each country, for instance . The idea is that in each country, YPAL people organize themselves the way they want. And then, we can healp in each country it is needed. So you can each decide who is in charge of each email address.

Florian : I really like the project Janne has presented. I think it would be interesting to do more workshops during YPAL meetings, and even maybe to train people how to conduct this kind of workshops.

Hélène : This YPAL meeting has been organized in a way that there were not a lot of workshops, but it is totally different each time. It is also possible to come to the meetings with a workshop proposal. There is a lot to imagine and create. A lot of more ideas can be found for future YPAL meetings.


Thanks to you all !!