January 20, 2017
If 2016 left you punch drunk, Fringe is here with a burst of smelling salts. Do not throw in the towel. We need you to get back in the ring.
There’s a battle ahead. Dragons we thought long vanquished are back and biting, hard. Progress is being devoured by an urge for tyranny. Our heroes didn’t save the day. The West is facing massive turmoil; the rest of the globe has been living it for decades. We’re feeling the impact of the forces transforming the world, sending shockwaves through our society and our hearts. We also know that the fight begins at home. We are caught up in campaigns for urgent local change, our communities are manifesting for causes at home and abroad. We’re called upon to show solidarity and make sure the right person has the microphone when it’s time to speak out.
But it’s getting harder to hear the bell ring. As we write this, empires are falling apart, all the rules are changing. Every morning brings a newsfeed grasping at a changed world, chasing a momentum towards inevitabilities we never thought we’d see. It’s the end of meaning, the drowning of reason, the beginning of a post-truth world. Everyone tells us so. When the new reality stumps South Park, we’re in trouble.
Cut through the numbness and reveal what’s left us raw. Cut through the building apathy and growing antipathy. Cut through inertia. Cut through the noise of 140 characters and glib emoji and fake news and the hot take, clickbait bullshit.
Because post-truth is a ploy to convince you that you have no power. It’s a novocaine tyranny. Refuse the anaesthetic. Post-truth can fuck off.
You’re still in charge. Be the creative and intellectual authorities. Remind us we have our wits and our smarts at the ready. Art is the pathway for empathy, invoke ours. Notice who isn't at the table. Reach out. Poke fun, give us contagious laughs. Bring us deep approaches to content, bring us soul, bring us stacks and stacks of truth, bring us talismans to help the world find its antidotes. Make it uproarious. Cut through with complexity, with purpose, with the adrenaline of what’s new.
Activist artists: broadcast directions to your bunker. No guest lists, no passwords. We need a world-wide preparation. We want survival guides, scrupulous documentation and we want wrecking balls.
Dissidents, dreamers, layabouts, and other folks we know and love: resist being instruments of any political whim. Stay on your own buzz. Dance on. Ditch the parade and make your art. Pursue the eternal, the brash, the quirky, the personal, the mystic.
All of you – we’re calling you to pay attention. Those ideas that walk unbidden into your kitchen and join you for breakfast, that eureka on your commute that vibrates with you all day, the voices that chase you in your dreams. Heed them. Guard and prize those impulses. Let them be what you rearrange your lives for. Use your allies, hard work and alchemy to turn them into something beyond the ephemeral. To your testimony. Build the ramparts, parties, havens and escapes that we need.
Here is what’s important to us this year:
- The pure.
- The empowered.
- New leaders, new voices.
- Diverse approaches and makers.
- Grunge, dirt bags, Tank Girls and messers.
- City sites set alive, manifestations of your valiant creativity in the Dublin you call home.
- Acts of resistance.
- Hedonists, the wild, a bit of filth, the salacious.
- Body sensational /instinctual knowledge.
- Access to the forbidden – you hop the gate, we’ve got the boltcutters.
- Works of conscience and consequence.
- Craic as counterculture, craic for craic’s sake, spectaculars and celebrations.
- Investigations of contemporary existence and contemporary thought.
- Events designed by, with and for the next generation.
- Sub culture, pop culture, trends, secrets of the times in which we live (nostalgia, you can sit this one out).
- Detail, detail, detail. Rejection of easy answers. We want the long read. Expose us to a wide range of sources that gives two fingers to the disinformation state.
- Engaged practice, work that invites others into the fold.
- Tomfoolery for the end of the world.
Your presence is required. Astonish us, like you always do.
- Kris Nelson, Festival Director and Ruth McGowan, Programme Manager
Fringe is ready for you. Get ready for Fringe.
Closing date for applications was 10 March 2017.
Closing date for Show in a Bag applications was 27 February.