Photography: Still from episode Youth Voluntary Work from TV series Our Shows
Photography: Still from episode Youth Voluntary Work from TV series Our Shows

For the first time in over two years, IETM is organising a large-scale, physical IETM Plenary Meeting; this time in collaboration with Bitef. Organised within the frame of the Bitef festival 2022 in Belgrade, Serbia, the IETM Belgrade Plenary Meeting will be a vibrant 4-day event with over 500 participants, full of artistic works to explore, talks and participatory discussions, a pre-meeting excursion and plenty of training, pitching and networking opportunities.
Our IETM Belgrade meeting title - Work Hard, Live Harder! - was not chosen in a vacuum; coming out of the pandemic, hard statements and questions need to be addressed.   
What is the state of the labour market in today’s late capitalism? Where has neoliberal exploitation left us? What is happening with workers’ rights regulation and working conditions after the pandemic? How is labour transforming in the performing arts and theatre? How can the arts field embrace care, friendship, solidarity and find the feeling of stability in a dramatically changing world?
When faced with numerous conflicts, the transformation of international relations and cooperation regimes is inevitable. The notion of stability needs to be revisited. With this in mind, we want to position the topics of work and labour as cornerstones that influence the feeling of stability/instability, not in a patriarchal military sense, but within a feminist and ecological frame of interdependence.
The reasons to tackle these questions are rooted in ever-evolving forms of neoliberal exploitation that affect work in general, and specifically work within the performing arts and theatre. By placing these issues in the context of the host city and country (Belgrade, Serbia), we wish to discuss with you - our colleagues and guests - the strategies, resistances, challenges and collective struggles of a transitional, post-socialist, post-war society, as well as the devastating consequences of misused market liberalisation, retraditionalisation and pauperisation, that we have been submitted to. We want to raise these questions from the perspective of a country where the majority of artists cannot fulfil their basic existential needs while working professionally and earning less than 500 euro per month. 
This debate will be supported by Bitef, one of the most relevant theatre festivals in Europe, within the ground-breaking artistic program of strong political statements. We cannot think of a better place to share these concerns than an international, multicultural community of performing arts professionals gathered around IETM.
More information on IETM official website