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Sunday, November 30, 2008


Desplazados on stage in Defenestration

We have presented our final performance of "Defenestration", and the group is now off to their next projects. This image is from the show, a moment when, as one friend put it, "a number of people arguing about stupidities stop arguing, and let the harsh reality of Colombia walk through their midst, transforming their perspectives".

I'm not sure if I had seen it like that, but that's what's nice about audiences: they tell you what you are doing, because you can't be sure of it yourself.

In this picture the Canadian performers are standing upstage, seeing a group of displaced people enter slowly, and one of them, a woman named Christina, enacts a moment from her forced eviction from her former home.

We were particularly gratified that Christina could perform with us at all: within days of our arrival in Colombia, she had been accused, along with a number of students, of being a terrorist. In Colombia such an accusation - basically any suspicion - is enough to prompt a legal arrest. There was no evidence to support the arrest, but here the authorities have the power to arrest first and find evidence later. Fortunately for Christina, a good lawyer supported her situation, and after a week and a half, her status was downgraded to house arrest (with permission to also attend the theatre) At this point the company of artists we have been working with went to her house, and with the backup of a Mariachi band, serenaded her.

Fortunately, by the time we presented our work, she had been freed.

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