Every other year, we invite the national performing arts network in the Cultural Rucksack around Norway on a network trip, and this year it went to Edinburgh and the Edinburgh International Children's Festival.

We've had three incredible days, and between us we've seen 10 performances, panel discussions on climate and queer work for young audiences and not least we've had lots of great conversations between us! We've walked up peaks and into dark halls, and like Showbox, the Edinburgh International Children's Festival is held in theaters and venues all over the city, so we've criss-crossed the city too!

Edinburgh International Children's Festival and Imaginate

This festival is organized by Imaginate, an organization we have worked closely with for several years. For the past 7 years, we have been partners in the EU projects PUSH and PUSH+ where performing artists from several different European countries have met and collaborated on various topics in the performing arts. We organized the last part of this project, the artist lab "Different bodies" in 2022.

The Edinburgh International Children's Festival is one of Europe's leading performing arts festivals for young audiences and has been running for over 30 years. Scenekunstbruket tries to visit it every year, and they do the same with Showbox. Several Norwegian performances they've seen at Showbox have been brought to Edinburgh, including Katja Brita Lindeberg's "Om bara Rosa kunne trylle" and NIE's "We come from far, far away". 

Imaginate works quite similarly to Scenekunstbruket, and in Edinburgh they have a "mini version" of the Cultural Rucksack. 

This year's festival

The festival itself lasts for 9 days, and this year we were able to attend three of them. In total, we saw 9 different performances and 2 panel discussions. In the first, we met several performing artists who create "queer work for children", and in the second, we heard thoughts on climate from both performing artists and organizers.

In addition, we got to see a work in progress at Scenekunstbruket: "The show for young men", a performance that originated in one of the artist labs in PUSH+.