A set of guidelines and criteria for writers were developed during a public meeting with the Berlin Free Scene in February 2016. We wanted to find out how the pilot phase of International Notice could best help the free scene by generating writing around performance that is useful, constructive, and creative. These are the guidelines we came back with.
The five golden rules
1. Be honest, but not rude on a personal level. Avoid excessive diplomacy.
2. Be subjective. Don’t speculate about the intentions of the maker. Write about how the piece resonated with you.
3. It’s not your job to sell the piece to the reader, or to stop them from buying it.
4. You don’t have to come to conclusions about whether the work was good or bad, or if it worked or not. You don’t have to know and you can ask questions.
5. You don’t have to speak for anyone other than yourself.
AN EXTRA GOLDEN RULE FOR MAKERS
6. You do not need to defend or validate your work in response to the writers!
THOUGHTS, PROVOCATIONS & IDEAS
_ Even if you didn’t like the performance, can you still write an interesting piece by stepping into dialogue with it?
_ Ask yourself: “Will what I am writing still be interesting this time next year?”
_ Ask yourself: “What assumptions am I making?
_ Be daring in your writing and take it seriously as an artform. Allow yourself to go beyond descriptions of the work, and don’t stay only with what the performance proposes.
_ Be curious, be open. What happened to you? What questions did the work provoke in you? What happened later? In the coming days? Do you have new questions? Did you dream about it?
_ Consider adopting a specific temporary position-it’s ok to play devil’s advocate. If you do, be transparent about it in your writing.
_ Consider ignoring the existing criteria and creating your own. If you do, be transparent about it in your writing.
_ Think about your personal interest, concern and perspective. Can you reflect this in your writing?
_ Think about the text as a practice to develop your thoughts
_ Think about how you might understand the multiple dimensions of the performance - other than imagery.
A FEW WORDS ON EDITING and on GETTING STARTED
It’s important both to INTERNATIONAL NOTICE and the artists to generate good quality writing. For this reason, each text will go through several layers of discussion, editing, and proof-reading. This can be understood both as a way in which you are collaborating with INTERNATIONAL NOTICE, and as an opportunity to gain insight into your own writing. The amount of attention given to each article is a way of caring for it, for the ideas it conveys, and for language in general. Together, the writer and editor will make sure each text is as great as it can be.
If you are unsure where to begin with your text, the best thing is to go with your gut, get inspired by the provocations above, and don’t worry about the details - they’ll be ironed out in later stages. Editors will proofread / copy edit all articles, but they can also help structure, provide outside references, and help clarify ideas. Let your editor(s) know what you need. Lastly, we don’t need to help if you don’t want us to. Please tailor this experience in the way that best suits your writing.
Richard Aslan (EN)
Claudia Basrawi (DE)
Louise Trueheart (EN)
We hope you have a lot of fun writing your piece! If you have any questions, just get in touch with us, or contact your editor directly.