Cruel reality and overwhelming truth. From a claustrophobic cubicle, the sincere confession of a tortured terrorist, naked and with his hands cuffed behind his back, throws from the stage a cry about violence, wherever it comes from. Jose K, tortured, directed by Carles Alfaro, is a montage that is part of a program of Teatro de la Abadía, in Madrid, which invites a great collective reflection on the ethics of violence, its consequences and its implications in society, which will continue with a documentary trilogy of the company Project 43-2 that delves into the terrorism of ETA and the steps for the pacification in the Basque Country.
"The theater has a greater power than film or literature to stand up to the horror of violence, because from the stage there is a current of affection and empathy, in which all, actors and spectators, share the same space and the same present. This truth and immediate reality makes the experience profoundly transformative, "says Maria San Miguel, actress and director of the trilogy about ETA (Project 43-2, The look of the other Y Journey to the end of the night), which is exhibited for the first time in the same theatrical space. "Listening to the voice of a terrorist does not mean accepting or legitimizing," he reflects. Carles Alfaro on Jose K, tortured.
Both Carles Alfaro (Valencia, 1960) and María San Miguel (Valladolid, 33 years old) somehow open a door so stubbornly closed to reality. Alfaro, who has already premiered Jose K, tortured years ago with the actor Pedro Casablanc and now he has taken up with Iván Hermes, returns to this work because of the fascination that follows the text of the journalist and exetarra Javier Ortiz (1948-2009). The protagonist is a terrorist who does not act under the orders of any ideology or group is arrested in an indeterminate country after installing a bomb in a square full of people. The police have barely half an hour to try to get information about the place of the explosive before it explodes.
Is torture lawful to avoid a massacre? "In Jose K, tortured we attend the confession of an intelligent monster. It raises uncomfortable reflections on violence and terrorism, including state terrorism. We all know that torture exists but we do nothing to fight against it. The work clearly raises the moral dilemma and the fear of the citizen before the possible justification of torture in an exceptional moment like that ", says Alfaro, who with this work listens for the first time to the voice and the reasons of a terrorist. "We have always been denied this voice. I want to know what is behind that person who makes that decision. It makes us panic because we seem to legitimize listening, but listening does not mean accepting, "he adds.
For Alfaro, theater is a privileged place for reflection on violence, but extreme care and respect must be taken because "a stage amplifies everything". It is the poetic, according to María San Miguel, the key to pain finding balance with beauty on stage. "Violence must be told, we have to dare to show everyday things such as pain but without forgetting aesthetic care and beauty, which are the tools to connect with the viewer," says this dramatist, who has spent ten years delving into the calvary of the victims of ETA and the GAL, with interviews and truthful testimonies.
The first of the works of the trilogy, Project 43-2 (which also gives name to the company), narrates the rupture of social and family relations in the Basque Country. The look of the other It brings to life real encounters between former ETA members and their victims. The last, Journey to the end of the night, narrates the encounter between the victim's daughter of the GAL and the son of an assassinated by ETA.
If María San Miguel declares herself fully aware of the "positive" provocation that is exerted from the scene with these assemblies, "in a country where, now more than ever, dialogue seems to be of no interest, and the search for votes with the confrontation and extremism ", Carles Alfaro proclaims:" There is no activity more prone to tolerance than the exercise of putting oneself in the place of the other on a stage ".
José K, tortured It is represented in the Abbey until next Sunday. Two days later the exhibition of the ETA trilogy will begin, which will close on March 24.