ICAF 2020


Vision of the other
More than in our previous festivals, ICAF 20/20 will investigate people’s perspective on the ‘other’, on themselves, and on the world around them. Projects that we present will challenge those who encounter them to step out of their private bubbles and explore their blind spots when it comes to how they look at the world and everything and everyone that lives and grows within it. 

Vison as Sense
Being able to physically see, or not, will also be a concern in our next festival. What may be other ways of relating to the world if we cannot see? Several projects in our program will test our reliance on vision as a physical sense. In a world in which the visual seems to have become dominant, the question arises what we miss if we are unable to see, or, conversely, what we miss precisely because we can see. How do exclusion and prejudice relate to seeing? Who or what do we exclude in our efforts to be inclusive. And what can we learn from people who are fully or partially blind? 

Vision and context
Traditions, aesthetics and burning issues differ from neighbourhood to region, to country and continent. A community artist working with migrant workers on the outskirts of Beijing operates in a completely different artistic idiom than her colleague in East L.A. That difference in perspective and the effort it requires from participants and visitors to our festival who will be confronted with work from other contexts we place centre stage in ICAF 2020. What happens to a community arts product or method when it is uprooted and transplanted from its original local environment to a studio or stage in the Netherlands? What intercultural efforts are required to communicate the specific social and artistic power that a work has locally to an international audience in Rotterdam?

Visual Arts
The vision theme prompts us to place an accent on visual arts. This multidisciplinary field has expanded enormously over the past two decades, ranging from murals in metropolitan slums and participatory video and photography, to collaborations between architects, town planners and design artists. Meanwhile, the virtual and the digital have also entered community art and we want to explore the latest developments in this area as well.








Rotterdam, 13 of March 2020

It is with great sadness that we have to cancel ICAF 2020. Following travel bans announced by several institutions and countries, our own government yesterday officially prohibited all events involving more than 100 people, until at least March 31st. As you know, we have been working for two years on curating what we believe was going to be an amazing festival. The enthusiasm with which many of you have registered, sometimes many months ahead of time, indicates that you, too, were convinced of the richness and importance of this gathering.

Each and everyone of the artists who were going to present their work at ICAF has equally put a tremendous amount of love, creativity and effort in their preparations. All we can say is that we will do our utmost not to make all that positive energy go to waste. In the coming months we intend to produce online (and if possible livestream) versions of various programme items. In that way we want to direct a virtual spotlight on all the wonderful projects that are so profoundly important for the existential, political, ecological and sociocultural challenges that we are facing in the world today, wherever we are.