PuSh Blog

Welcome to a new “season” for PuSh; a ritual for social change

September 18, 2023

Can a live art festival be a ritual for social change? A cultural strategy? A means to rethink history while imagining possible futures? These are the critical thoughts energizing me as I return from parental leave. As we prepare for a transition of seasons, let’s soak up all the generous warmth of possibility and wrap ourselves in the big ideas that will carry us through. 

In the heart of winter, PuSh makes us feel more alive; it tends our souls and expands our consciousness by bringing our bodies in proximity and creating space to think; it triggers creative and political stimulation through local-international encounters; and it fosters a transmission of knowledge unique to the ephemeral community of an international festival. 

four people of colour, dressed in black sing standing with arms outstretched. A fifth performer sits playing guitar.

As I embrace this work after a year’s distance, I am interested in how we can amplify our relevance and push this agenda: How can we further emphasize care in the ethical sense of self-reflection, responsiveness, and social accountability? How can we do this in a way that celebrates the generative friction and poetry of pluralism over the didactic or prescriptive? How can we push the possibility of liveness, of experimental practices operating across, or on the periphery of classical forms? And as an event fundamentally focused on presentation, how are we responding to a changing economy affecting labour, touring, and production? 

Our team is gearing up to deliver our best answers in the form of the 2024 PuSh Festival, knowing that all good questions open the door for many more.  

The Program Launch is coming soon – November 22! We hope you will be part of shaping our live response from January 18 to February 4, 2024.

Gabrielle Martin

Director of Programming

Read Gabrielle’s Curatorial Statement for the 2024 PuSh Festival here.

Photo by Christophe Péan