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We want to stress how very lucky we all felt to have been able to participate in
CritEnd. We’re happy to share our thoughts and feedback on the programme with you
and hope it can serve you in the evaluation and further development of CritEnd.

TO JURY OR NOT TO JURY?
“I must admit I wouldn't have gone to Istanbul this year if it wasn't for the jury part”.

Several participants were asked by different partners of the network how they
experienced the jury-task.

As participants, we can be very clear on this: we unanimeously feel that the jury-task
is motivating the whole endeavour. It's a very serious, important exercise of criticism
in motion. It puts all the theory into practice. Being the jury gives a kind of gravity to
our work; the stakes are higher. It urges that as a participant, you cannot allow
yourself to be passive or not to be outspoken. To us, the jury-task was what was really
at stake and felt like a natural extension of the watching/ writing/ workshopping that
took place during the Endeavor. The final discussion grew very organically out of the
work we’d been doing over the previous two weeks. We also felt our decision had
credibility, as we’d invested so much time and effort into thinking and discussing. We
cannot think of the Critend programme as just the workshops- most of us would not
have been interested in such a proposal. The workshops work for us when they’re
thought in function of the jury-task.

A GOOD DECISION
However, for the participants to be able to fulfill their task as jury well- a clear frame
is indispensable. We felt that the last-minute confusion about additional prices
somewhat undermined the ground for our decision. Ideal would be to have a clear
idea about the prizes (money prize, residencies and additional prizes) before the start
of the workshop.

From discussions with several partners of the network after the award show, we
learned that some of the partners of the network have a specific point of view on the
prix and the division of the prices that we were not aware of. We therefore like to
advocate that the partners as a group explicitely inform the jury about their specific
vision on and goals with the “prix”. Off course, discussion and dialogue should stay
possible: there has to be space for the own vision(s) and opinion(s) of the jury
members.
We thank Gürur Ertem for being our ‘guide’ and principal ‘mentor’ troughout the
programme. It was enriching to learn from her a bit more on the local social-political
and cultural context in which iDans took place. We can only imagine how much work
she must have had on her shoulders- it makes us appreciate the time she dedicated to
Critend. Still, however no problems in that sense appeared (we really want to stress
this), as a general remark, we want to propose for the future to perhaps have the
workshops/judging panel leaded by a third person or organization who’s independent
from the host organization/ curator of the program, in order to prevent any conflicts of
interest and to guard the independent thinking of the jury.

JUST HOW EMERGING?
“In my experience, the group existed out of ‘not so emerging critics’ while the
mentors expected and had prepared their workshops for ‘very much emerging
critics”.

From our experience, we felt that the programme might prosper from better defining
the notion of ‘emerging critic’ (who it’s aiming at).

We want to refer to the evaluation Pieter T’Jonck wrote on lasts years edition about
not having the CritEnds as jury. In his text, Pieter T’Jonck juxtaposes ‘a group of
young critics’ against ‘recognized dance critics’. When do critics get ready to endorse
the power of a jury decision and how do they get to that? When does one start to be a
‘recognized dance critic’? What are the criteria upon which we were chosen? This is
all very trouble (and troubling) to us. Perhaps the problem T’Jonck detected has more
to do with developing good strategies of how to facilitate discussions and workshops
and not as much with the (lack of) professionality and expertise of the jury members.
The question about defining ‘emerging’ and who the CritEnd program wants to serve,
also relates to the purposes of the workshops. All participants were very unsatisfied
with how the mentor sessions were organized and approached by the mentors.

-> The workshops and approaches of the mentors did not seem designed
according to the participants profile.

“In our application we were asked about our specific concerns, interests,…
This information was never used by any mentor”.

-> Two days (and sometimes shorter) is too short. Because of that, there was no
space for mentors to get to know every person in the group, discover what is
his/ her practice and challenge them individually.

“I felt that during these 2 days sessions, mentors had just the time to introduce
themselves, give two or three ideas (and texts) and leave again”.

-> Related to that, it was difficult to secure some kind of progression: it felt like
starting over completely from zero every two days. This was very tiring.

-> All mentors worked in an ‘educational’ mindset, resulting too often in oneway
communication (mentor talking, participants listening). This is not at all
inspiring and does not enhance real dialogue and discussion.

It’s perhaps an idea to have one or two ‘mentors/ facilitators/ mediators’ for the
general organization and follow-up of the project and then guest mentors who stick
around for longer (3-4 days)?!

As for the structure of the workshops in terms of timetabling and time management:
most participants would voice in favour of shorter and more efficient workshop
sessions followed by more time to write and reflect.

“I think many of us felt the days were unproductive and the evenings rushed - there
needs to be more balance in the structure of the workshops themselves if they are to
benefit anyone (emerging or not)”.


A day off somewhere in the middle of the programme is necessary, for everyone’s
mental hygiene.

VALUING PEER LEARNING

One of the most interesting aspect of the programme for all participants was the
diversity of the group (different backgrounds, levels of expertise, different
expectations,…) and the opportunity to learn from each other. The programme should
allow for flexibility and openness so that as a participant, you can really focus or
work on what is of most interest to your practice.

“I got a lot from the group being so diverse. And talking of being diverse: would there
be a point in limiting the participant's field or range of experience? I think not”.

“I would have expected from these workshops to be challenged in my writing
practice. I had interesting returns and discussions on that from other participants, not
really from the mentors”.

“I really appreciate that I got to know all of you!!! All the discussions and all your
different individual thoughts and experiences were inspiring for me!”

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