The lack of recognition by the State has produced a relative dispersion in the performing arts. Finally the groups, the independent rooms and the actors have met again both in assemblies of independent rooms and in the audience of the National Congress, both in the national meeting of theater halls, as in regional and local meetings, both at festivals as in the social scenarios for reconciliation and coexistence.
This dispersion has contributed to the backward movement of many of the conquests achieved by Colombian theater as fundamental rights. These conquests have been founders of cultural public policies and national and regional consultation. Policies that in many regions are not met due to the lack of recognition of the theater by local administrations. (More: Why did you ask the director of the Teatro Colón to resign? )
These years have been difficult not only for theater and the arts, but they have also been difficult for culture and the country. The present time for Colombians and Colombians, as well as for artists, is the time to move from the culture of war to the culture of peace. And theater and the arts cannot be alien to this historical challenge.
However, despite the difficulties, Colombian theater remains and grows. Groups and rooms of systematic dedication to the theater, as well as long-standing groups, have been kept against the odds. And new groups have been founded. New dramaturgies and theater schools have emerged. The presence of women in dramaturgy, direction and in all fields of the performing arts is relevant. Hundreds of young people out of schools are waiting for better living conditions to practice theater and dramaturgy.
Numerous theater festivals have emerged throughout the country, to the point that we can say that Colombia is a country of festivals. And the jewel in the crown, which is the public formed in so many years of perseverance in the seasons, expects public policies to make a leap so that the theater is practiced and taken to schools, universities, neighborhoods and sidewalks.
However, we cannot ignore that rooms have been closed and that many are in precarious economic conditions, that in some regions budgets are stagnant and decreasing, and that the scaffolding of procedures to access state resources has reached the limits of the absurd
Nor do we ignore that the budget for the Ministry of Culture remains residual compared to the allocations to other ministries, as well as the budget that it allocates to the performing arts.
It is imperative, therefore, that the theater meet again from the perspective of recognition, but also from the perspective of its role in society.
It is time for the State to think about culture and art as the foundations of the nation, as it says in the Constitution of 91. And not exclusively as a new niche of profitability, (read orange economy). It is necessary to resume the debate on the role of culture in society and on the cultural dimension of peace.
The Colombian theater cannot forget the social context in which it lives and creates. Culture in general and art in particular can and should contribute to reworking the social ties broken by war, disaffection and violence.