Summary of the European Forum 2020

Crédits : Slaven Rébélo

The 2020 edition of the First Meetings was exceptional because of the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The various measures linked to the state of health emergency (the closure of the venues and
The various measures linked to the state of health emergency (the closure of venues and then the confinement from 17 March) led the ACTA team to postpone the edition initially planned from 16 March to 4 April. The European Biennial in Val-d’Oise and Seine-et-Marne finally took place in the autumn in a very reduced version: only three shows out of the ten programmed could be presented. The European Forum was held on 7 and 8 October at the Espace Marcel Pagnol in Villiers-le-Bel (95).

The ACTA team showed great adaptability in arranging the event according to the limitations concerning the travel of speakers from other regions or from abroad, and the number of authorised participants. This of course led to regrets. That of not being able to welcome Jean-Michel Anouman Adiko, Ève Ledig, Louise Allaire, Rhona Matheson, Michael Lurse and Ingrid Wolff. It was also regrettable that we were unable to welcome all those who had registered in large numbers – in particular, professionals working in the field of early childhood. While some technical incidents
Although a few technical incidents disrupted the live broadcast of the discussions, this European Forum 2020 was essentially what ACTA’s director, Laurent Dupont, had dreamed of. The conference-debates and round tables, moderated by the journalist Dominique Duthuit, who has specialised in young and very young audiences for thirty years, dealt with fundamental subjects: the importance of culturally nourishing babies, the importance of
The conferences and round tables, moderated by journalist Dominique Duthuit, a specialist in young and very young audiences for thirty years, dealt with fundamental subjects: the importance of culturally nourishing babies, the situation of children with another language at home, the challenges of artistic creation with toddlers and the interest of international exchanges.

We are wrapping up this report during the second lockdown, which began on 30 October 2020, when the theatres were once again closed to the public. This period forces us to reinvent ourselves,” says Laurent Dupont. To rethink the relationship with our partners, to pay more attention to them, to reinvent our contact and our links with the public. Finally, it is a time to emphasise the essential nature of our actions to institutional partners. And let’s not forget that we are going to meet again!

Naly Gérard – Journalist