> Humankind is currently facing new political, social and most importantly ecological challenges: Life as we know it is speeding up and the pillars underlying our belief systems are crumbling. We, as a society, are therefore longing for new narratives and for new ways of living and being. People all around the world are looking for solutions, trying to understand which role they will play in this profound transition.
By being immersed in the cultural sector for over two decades, we - Halea Isabelle Kala, an anthropological filmmaker and artist, and Alexander Krüger a festival organizer and cultural manager, - comprehend therefore the power of the arts. They are channels of human expression through which each one can share ideas, visions and representations of the world. It is thus invaluable to recognize and protect the knowledge that we have in our cultures - and to experiment with traditional rituals as well as their contemporary re-appropriations
We understand festivals as celebratory demonstrations of human expression in form of microcosms parallel to everyday society. They are spheres of intensified emotional experience, some liberated from the ties of conformity and marked by a strong sense of freedom, others rigidly organized with a deep respect for their sacred cultural dimension. Music and dance lie at the core of these cultural gatherings, and it is their unique universality that we are particularly interested in exploring, as all living beings can relate to rhythm and movement. These forms of human expression are universal languages with far-reaching origins in ancient and indigenous cultures that are constantly undergoing evolutionary processes. They function as catalysts and play a role in every culture across the globe.
With AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 FESTIVALS we want to examine traditional as well as new forms of festivals and cathartic ritualistic gatherings. We also want to investigate into the experience of transcendence and explore how we can incorporate the ancient knowledge embedded in our history into a film that can act as an appeal for creating environments of human interconnection and interaction. We hope that this journey into diverse cultural contexts can inspire and help us prototype future models for experiencing and growing together, as a humane response to the complex crises of our time.