Heidi Wiley from the European Theatre Convention on Pipelines & LUPU/NAGĦĠA
We all know that the European lifestyle is based on an excessive use of energy. But how can we transition towards a more sustainable way of living? And what might need to be sacrificed for this work to succeed?
At the European Theatre Convention (ETC), the largest network of publicly funded theatres in Europe, we are very interested in these ‘big questions’. We believe theatre is one of the most exciting ways to stretch and challenge our thinking on topics such as diversity, digital innovation and sustainability. And with members in 30+ countries, we have the benefit of looking the issues that affect us all from a Cross-European perspective.
We were therefore very excited about Pipelines, an ETC international artistic collaboration project. 5 writers, from 5 countries (Malta, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and Albania) met online and at theatre festivals to produce new work about the drama of fossil fuels in their country. The texts are all extremely current, well-documented, joyful, funny, empathetic, at times furious, and at times resigned. It has been a particular pleasure to watch Simone Spiteri’s ideas grow in this period, from a thoughtful spark presented to our theatres at Spazju Kreattiv in 2021, into LUPU/NAGĦĠA, the important piece you have before you. Her ability to pull together global questions about oil, corruption, and the environment in the specific context of Malta is what makes this a truly European text.
It has always been our hope that Pipelines would circulate words instead of oil. That it would draw energy from cultural exchange, rather than fossil fuel. We’re delighted ETC Member Theatre Teatru Malta participated in the process, which we think is a great example of how European collaboration can foster visibility for – literally – burning issues. Congratulations to Simone, Dù Theatre, and our revered colleagues at Teatru Malta for bringing this to audiences in 2023!