Festivals for Compassion is an initiative of festival Wonderfeel (NL),
inspired by and in collaboration with Flag of Compassion
Componist des Vaderlands
European Festivals Association
NPO Radio 4
Festival van Vlaanderen
De Verenigde Podiumkunstenfestivals
Many thanks to
Kayleigh Hagen (website design)
Albert Edelman (translations)
Composer of the Netherlands
As the official ‘Composer of the Netherlands’, Calliope Tsoupaki is the face of Dutch music today. She feels a responsibilty to bring the craft of composing to a wide audience, always with an eye to current events. Tsoupaki immigrated to the Netherlands in 1988 from Greece to study composition with Louis Andriessen in The Hague. She developed into one of the Netherlands’ most high-profile composers, with her own unmistakable style incorporating her Greek roots.
In February 2020, Wonderfeel was approached by the Unda Foundation to give its own implementation to the Flag of Compassion. The idea to ask a composer to write a new work was born and shortly afterwards nipped in the bud by Corona. But at the same time as the virus was spreading, sharing compassion became more urgent. It led Wonderfeel to scale up the idea and share it with festivals in the Netherlands and internationally under the flag Festivals for Compassion. Together, the participating festivals form a symbolic compassion relay with the performance and online sharing of Calliope Tsoupaki’s Thin Air.
Flag of compassion
Festivals for Compassion took its inspiration from the Flag of Compassion, a conceptual piece by the Dutch artist Rini Hurkmans. The work consists of ‘the Flag’ and a manifesto, held at the Unda Foundation. The Flag is a means to express the universal human feeling of compassion, independent of political, religious, or cultural ends. It is a flag for everybody, and can be used by anyone. The Flag of Compassion (actual or virtual) can accompany Tsoupaki’s composition from festival to festival.