Anastassia Makridou-Bretonneau speech at the UCI Pediátrica event

The following text is a reflection on the role of the mediator by the Nouveaux Commanditaires’ mediator.


“Hello, good afternoon.

First of all, I would like to thank you very much for your invitation. It is a privilege, a pleasure and an honour to share with you this moment of joy that naturally sprouts from the completion of a collective work.

Felipe has asked me to say a few words about the role of the mediator within the framework of this project, but also in a broader sense. I ask you to forgive my “approximative” Spanish, but I speak from the heart.

I myself have been a mediator in France for many years and have taken part in a very intense experience in Chile. I will attempt to introduce you to this complex, demanding and absolutely thrilling role.

I allow myself to use two metaphors to illustrate what this polyvalent and multidirectional job of the mediator is about: one may say that the mediator of projects such as Concomitentes and Nouveaux Commanditaires is like the Indian goddess Kali, or a Swiss army knife.

During the collective work, the mediator mobilises many different competences simultaneously: listening, meetings and internal and external exchanges dynamisation, citizen-commissioners’ expectations and needs analysis and their translation into artistic challenges, cultural engineering, financial management, communications… and the list goes on and on; it would be endless.

With such competences, much like the beautiful fire that burned at the centre of ancient dwellings, the mediator keeps everyone’s desire and engagement alive and oversees the quality of the dialogue and discussions, guaranteeing a fair balance between the citizen-commissioners’ expectations and the artists’ creative freedom. Among others, those are the mediator’s main duties. 

But projects are not quiet rivers that flow trouble-free towards the sea. The UCI Pediátrica team has already experienced that: in order for the mediation to be polyvalent, human qualities such as empathy and perseverance are also needed.”

For that reason, if I had to end up by summarising the role of the mediator in just one sentence, I would say he/she is “the architect of collective trust”. A trust that allows us to break free from individualism and become emancipated from our compartmentalised systems, so that we can engage in something greater, selfless, and shared.

It’s like this that every project that gets done is a victory over immobilism and fatalism, yet another evidence that civil society can get involved in public issues in a specific and creative way, and that art is a key agent in changing our world.

The mediator is nothing but a humble servant of these magnificent causes. 

I want to pass on my warmest congratulations to Felipe, the whole team and all the artists for this enormous work, and to express a big “hooray” for this powerful project. 

May the adventure go on with trust in our capacity of being actors for a more caring, freer, and more democratic society”.