For this 35th edition of the Belluard Festival, everything started with The Institute of Global Solitude. Following almost three years of discussions and planning, the Swiss branch of the IGS proudly opens its doors on the first week-end of the festival. With the complicity of a dozen local artists, the Greek collective blitz theatre group creates a unique total art work inspired by the complex and ambivalent theme of solitude.
The IGS project has set the tone: this year, the festival’s open call invited artists from Fribourg, Switzerland and the whole world to reflect on the many different aspects of solitude too. 666 artists from 74 countries have responded to our the call – seven propositions were selected and will be presented during the festival, alongside a series of guest performances. The projects explore individual reclusion within deregulated Asian turbocapitalism, the sense of abandonment fostered by (almost) extinct animal species, or subcultural phenomena that exploit isolation and sadness as a trademark / commodity. Solitude, however, also implies strength, autonomy and resistance. It underlies life-changing experiences, coming of age, questions regarding identity and death. Finally, a spate of women artists question and celebrate a feminine – or indeed feminist - solitude that emerges as life-affirming, assertive and resilient.
Feminine, young, Fribourgeois and cosmopolitan – these are some of the adjectives that describe the general program of this year’s festival. Participation is a further key ingredient in the mix, wit the claim Belluard yourself! Radio journalism, lecturing, embroidery, customized cat-cape making, sound safaris, inclusive writing and speech – active participation is open to all, as are spontaneous and unexpected encounters. The latter are also on the agenda – whether you are living it up at a concert selected by musical masterminds Daniel Fontana and Sylvain Maradan, whilst ordering your fourth Barbeblanche at one of the festival bars, leaning against a beam of the Belluard gallery or snacking at one of our street tables. To help you find fulfillment in solitude the festival brings together, for the 35th time running, an enthusiastic and vibrant community!
Anja Dirks and the Belluard Festival team