Theatre and Migration - Astrágali in Nicosia
babelmed - 24/11/2012
Lives and words of migrants in Theatre
After the presentation of the project HOST (Hospitality Otherness Society Theatre) at the Paisiello Theatre in Lecce last September, both the University of Salento, leader of the project and Astragali Teatro, artistic director of the project, have made a stop in Nicosia with the organisation of the first advanced theatre training workshop and the beginning of the first phase of fieldwork.
It is no coincidence that Cyprus, the largest island of the Eastern Mediterranean, divided since 1974 by the so-called 'green line' between the Turkish and the Greek Cypriot parts, is a place where migration appears almost as a destiny and a condition. There is another painful, internal division. On the one hand, over half a million Cypriots have left to settle in the UK, and on the other hand, the Island has become the focal point of migration flows between Europe, Asia and Africa.
The dynamics of migration in the concrete lives of men and women migrants, one of the project’s main themes is also the red line along which the international workshop in Nicosia was developed by Astragali Teatro and a scientific team coordinated by Mario Longo, Professor of Sociology and research director at the University of Salento. After a first public presentation of the project revolving around the words wall / foreigner / otherness, the team of researchers began to collect data, do interviews with those who have experienced the phenomenon of emigration or immigration. This resulted in a bulk of biographies of utmost importance to help understand dynamics, such as migration, that are in constant motion and evolution.
Led by Fabio Tolledi, the laboratory of advanced theatre training was held at the headquarters of Satiriko Theatre in Nicosia, partners of the project, with the participation of more than twenty young artists and theatre students. The participants shared their experiences and knowledge on migrant conditions in Cyprus and this made the workshop even more significant.
This was an important way to illustrate the interplay between theatre and sociological research that are both an integral part of the project, and to allow the transformation of concrete life experiences into a narrative capable of reproducing the bare life of men and women encountered there.
In the coming months, HOST will make a stop in other places that are strongly marked by migration: Patras, Cadiz and Salento.
Co-financed by the European Union in the framework of the "Culture Programme 2007-2013", HOST holds a prestigious partnership: the University of Salento - Department of History, Society and Human Sciences, leader of the project in collaboration with the Directorate General ITI-UNESCO (France), University of Cadiz (Spain), Province of Lecce, Astragali Teatro, Gal Arneo Land, Babelmed (Italy), Satiriko Theatre (Cyprus), Theatro tsi Zakynthos (Greece). Astragali Teatro is in charge of the artistic co-ordination.
The project will now travel to Spain and Cadiz in November and then, to Greece and Patras in December.