fbpx Burn-in, Burn-out | HowlRound Theatre Commons

Livestreamed on this page Wednesday 12 June and Friday 14 June 2024. See schedule below.

Sofia, Bulgaria
Wednesday 12 June 2024 and Friday 14 June 2024

Burn-in, Burn-out

IETM Sofia Plenary Meeting 2024

Wednesday 12 June 2024 and Friday 14 June 2024

The IETM Sofia Plenary Meeting 2024 invited its participants to embrace IETM’s discoveries from its three year project The New International in the Performing Arts (NIPA) and design a fair, green and inclusive "new international" vision for the sector by drawing on all that we have learnt. It presented a program that aims to provoke new thoughts and inspire action, awareness and positive impact.  

In this frame, IETM and Toplocentrala invite the performing arts sector at large to tune in to the livestream of our keynotes—Sensing Earth: Cultural Quests Across a Heated Globe on Wednesday 12 June and Sense of Place, Sense of Time on Friday 14 June.


Wednesday 12 June - 16:00-17:00 EEST

8 a.m.-9 a.m CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 9 a.m.-10 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 14:00-15:00 BST (London, UTC +1) / 16:00 EEST (UTC +3) / 9 p.m. SGT (UTC +9) / 10 p.m. KST (UTC +9).

"Sensing Earth: Cultural Quests Across a Heated Globe"

In his opening keynote, sociologist Pascal Gielen directs our focus to a subject that threads through the tapestry of our professional and personal realms: the intricate entanglement of nature, culture, and our mental condition.

The lecture illuminates the cultural sector's ongoing conundrum—the imperative of cultural mobility for rich and authentic exchange versus the ecological footprint this mobility creates. As professionals in the arts, we grapple with this tension: the necessity of physical nearness to foster cultural dialogue stands in contrast to the pressing need for sustainability and environmental stewardship, while digital technology seems to fall short in each of these arenas.

In response to these dilemmas, Gielen proposes three aesthetic strategies that offer pathways toward reconciling these paradoxes.

"Beautiful Thinking" which seeks to integrate the intuitive and the emotional with the intellectual, forming a holistic approach to our environmental and cultural crises.

"Situational in-situ art" which emphasizes profound engagement with local contexts, fostering art that emerges from and resonates with the specifics of place. 

"Depth aesthetics" which encourages a dive into the underlying strata of our experiences, connecting with our ancestors and the historical, geological, and ecological layers that define our environmental cultures.

These strategies offer creative approaches to the tensions we face and form a call to action. They invite us to redefine our cultural practices, to seek solutions that honor our need for cultural proximity while respecting the ecological boundaries of our planet.

Pascal Gielen

Welcome by:
Ása Richardsdóttir, IETM, Belgium
Veselin Dimov, Toplocentrala, Bulgaria

Remote video URL


Friday 14 June - 10:00-10:50 EEST

8:00-8:50 BST (London, UTC +1) / 10 a.m. EEST (UTC +3) / 3 p.m. SGT (UTC +8) / 4 p.m. KST (UTC +9) / 5 p.m. AEST (UTC +10).

"Sense of Place, Sense of Time"

Apart from very small groups of indigenous people, the rest of the world population has lineage connected to colonization, settling and migration. Contemporary cultures result from translocal flows of people, technology, capital, media and ideas. They are shaped by hybridization and cultural exchange, and yet identity-based political tribalism seems to be gaining ground globally. Society at large is experiencing burnout symptoms, such as social unrest and polarization, prolonged economic downturns, environmental degradation, political instability, loss of cultural vitality and cohesion.

How can artists continue to make work when feeling the effects of this turbulence, and what role can institutions play in supporting them?

Through a number of historic and contemporary examples the lecture traces how artists have reflected and responded to political and social challenges, and look into cultural policies and management models that could break a crisis cycle.

Margarita Dorovska

Remote video URL


About HowlRound TV

HowlRound TV is a global, commons-based, peer-produced, open-access livestreaming and video archive project stewarded by the nonprofit HowlRound. HowlRound TV is a free and shared resource for live conversations and performances relevant to the world’s performing arts and cultural fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and develop our knowledge commons collectively. Anyone can participate in a community of peer organizations revolutionizing the flow of information, knowledge, and access in our field by becoming a producer and co-producing with us. Learn more by going to our participate page. For any other queries, email [email protected] or call Vijay Mathew at +1 917.686.3185 Signal. View the video archive of past events.

Bookmark this page

Log in to add a bookmark

Find all of our upcoming events here.

Upcoming Events


Add Comment

The article is just the start of the conversation—we want to know what you think about this subject, too! HowlRound is a space for knowledge-sharing, and we welcome spirited, thoughtful, and on-topic dialogue. Find our full comments policy here

Newest First