Our students were lucky enough to get to hear Xela speak with Richard Demarco in a series of lectures that got down to the bottom of the founding of the Traverse Theatre. Richard also gave his personal account of the first Fringe Festival, illuminating our students to the festival's original purpose. Demarco purports that the festival was created as a means by which to "heal the wounds of war", and gives examples of several artists who may very well have been killed in their own countries had it not been for the aegis of arts to hide some of their views from people who wouldn't understand their beliefs in an artistic context.
He reminded us how lucky we are in America to have clauses put in place that protect artists to some degree, but also warned us that "Art isn't taken seriously in America because it lacks the threat of prison." He discussed his work with Kantor as well as Beuys and gave us a reality check as to the viability of works like these as compared to the events of this year's festival.