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Nigeria hosts global conference on theatre, criticism, politics

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Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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President of IATC-Nigeria, Prof. Professor Emmanuel Dandaura, Global president of IATC, Margareta Sorenson

The Executive Committee of the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC), UNESCO’s statute B global partner in theatre criticism, holds its first ever-official event on the African continent during the Lagos Theatre festival from March 1-5th 2017. The special International Theatre Critics Conference will deliberate on the theme ‘Theatre, Criticism and Politics – Where Are the Limits?’ African’s sole representative in the IATC international Executive Committee, Professor Emmanuel Dandaura confirmed this development via a ‘Call For Papers’ issued by his office as President, IATC-Nigeria.

Also, the 2017 edition of Lagos Theatre Festival is partnering with the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC) to host a seminar for young critics working on the continent. The seminar will hold March 1 through 5 at the National Theatre during the theatre festival being organised by the British Council.

Prof. Emmanuel Dandaura, in a press statement, stated the Nigerian section of IATC, otherwise called IATC-Nigeria, is “partnering the British Council Nigeria to deepen international participation in the 2017 edition of the Lagos Theatre Festival. Already, IATC-Nigeria has invited some established critics and festival curators across four continents, including the IATC global President, Margareta Sorenson, a veteran Swedish journalist and critic to participate.

“Also, in order to reinvigorate interest in theatre criticism in the younger ones and particularly for those who wish to take to journalism as a career, IATC and British Council have agreed to mount a young critics’ seminar in line with the IATC global format, where 20 Nigerian young critics and a few of their foreign counterparts will be mentored through workshop sessions.”

The objectives of the strategic partnership between IATC and British Council include opening avenues for more international tours for the average Nigerian theatre makers, increase media visibility for works of Nigerian creative artistes, facilitate cross fertilization of ideas and galvanise discourse around home-grown theatre performances and other emerging forms of expressions in Nigerian theatre, and create a meeting point for sharing of experiences between theatre critics in the media and those in the academia.

Besides Margareta Sorenson, other critics and festival curators expected include the Artistic Director of Belgrade International Theatre Festival, Ivan Medenica, editor, Best Plays Theater Yearbook, U.S., Professor Jeffery Erik Jenkins, co-editor of New Theatre Quarterly Cambridge University, Maria Shevtsova, 2016 IATC Thalia Laureate, Professor Femi Osofisan of Nigeria, Professor Olu Obafemi, President National Academy of Letters, Halima Tahan, journalist and director, Artes De Sul, Argentina; and editor, Mumbai Theatre Guide, India, Deepa Punjani.

The International Association of Theatre Critics, which is UNESCO’s statute B global partner in theatre criticism, has been in existence for six decades now. However, the proposed Lagos International Critics Conference will be the first ever IATC activity in Africa.

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