By Maria Horne | Associate Professor, Theatre and Dance
For the artist, it’s very important to engage in conversations with other artists, in a neutral arena. The conversation evens out and then we become artists talking to artists, where nationalities are important because they are intrinsic to us, but they’re not something that alters the game.
To achieve this, for the last 18 years I’ve been taking groups of students abroad to present a creative project they’ve worked on here at UB. Recently, I’ve taken them to Minsk, in Belarus, and Montreal, in Canada. The objective is engaging the student in the conversation, in a neutral arena.
You need to go beyond barrier of language and cultures. As an artist you’re not just doing something to do it—you are saying something, you are bringing your voice. You are making a contribution to the world, hopefully, to create peace by building bridges among cultures, to create mutual understanding.
It’s important to do it, but you need to be able to communicate it, too. The artists that have the opportunity to travel abroad come back able to reflect and utilize those new tools in their work and grow from the experience. In turn, they enrich those they touch later on.