The travelling artist as responsible tourist?

An artists’ roundtable exploring the role of travel in the practice of making performance.

The travelling artist as responsible tourist? is a gathering of artists to discuss the role of travel in their practice. The apparently pragmatic issue of how artists travel, and the relationship of that travel to ‘the work itself’, is often overlooked in favour of questions that might seem more central to the themes or forms of the work. In the context of the Performing Mobilities events, it seems timely to consider what it means to think of the artist as a mobile figure. In a global context in which issues of who has access to travel, and who is allowed to stay, are fraught with political controversy, it seems important to consider performance’s own patterns of movement and how they interact with those of others.

The roundtable reflects on the ethical dimensions of the travelling artist. Among questions that participants will discuss are: what are the responsibilities of theatre-makers and performance artists as travellers, and how have they negotiated these? How is the mobility of artists understood in relation to that of others? Do artists seem to occupy a privileged position as ‘travelling correspondents’? And, more broadly, how have theatre-makers and performance artists developed artistic strategies by which to respond to their movement through the world?

The session aims to stimulate debate and open out the conversation beyond the invited participants and, as such, will attempt to take its steer from the experiences and interests of those attending.