Automatically translated from Basque, translation may contain errors. More information here. Elhuyarren itzultzaile automatikoaren logoa

To repair pain caused by the buzzing of the hair

  • In order to close in a more “constructive” way the process of managing a series of Chauvinist aggressions that took place in Hernani, a group of Hernaniarras offered in June the play Eulser of Noise in a saturated culture room. Maitane Barrenetxea and Arantxa Arrieta, members of the group, have explained that the work has had an unexpected influence both on the process of composition of the participants and on the mobilization of citizens' consciences. An atypical play in which viewers stand before mirrors to question certain attitudes.
Argazkia: Uxue Bereziartua Lonbide / ARGIA CC BY SA.

Following the nervousness and tension of the premiere, Maitane Barrenetxea and Arantxa Arrieta, who are part of the popular work "Eulens Noise", have explained to ARGIA that it has "ended". On June 15, the first and last representation of the work was offered, due to the complexity of the “amateur” group of about 30 people. The theater is over and the process is over, yet some loopholes have been opened in the public.

“A few years ago we started a community process for the management of some attacks of male violence. The idea of making a theater was born with the intention of sharing it more broadly with the Hernaniards and with the citizens it worked during the process”, he noted. This theater is not very common” is the title started by the actors and actresses who left the audience, and it has been, because the noise of Eulcreature has many outliers. First, the theatrical closure of the process of management of the Machian aggressions is a novelty.

The innovation is also to see on the stage fifteen hernaniards of different ages, genders and environments that are not actors. The people who have participated in the process are those who have prepared and materialized the theater, and their objective has been to promote the reflection of the citizens about their behaviors in the face of the Machian aggressions: “When there is an attack there is pain, but the popular reaction can cause more pain, provokes a revictimization.” They have brought to the center the role of the community. They wanted to convey the pain caused by the gossip and the extent to which the comments made in the people, especially those addressed to the members of the process and the feminist movement, arrive.

Photo: Uxue Bereziartua Lonbide / ARGIA CC BY, S.A.
Gossip noise

At the beginning of the play you hear the nasty joke of flies during the time the spectator takes to get nervous. The actors try to silence this noise, but until they come together they can't kill the fly. The scene causes tension in the audience, like all other sketches. In short, the protagonist of the theater is the so-called "fourth wall," that is, an audience outside the stage. Hence his title, based on the technique of speaking to the camera of the Fleabag series, has made a translation of his own: Fly.

The "fourth wall" is spoken directly in another sketche, casting from one to the potolas questions left in the air: “Are attacks just the ones on the news? Do I have to report every time I have an attack? How many times have I seen an attack? Why are we struggling to talk about so many attacks? How many times have I done something when one of my friends is involved? What is an attack?” Arrieta says they believe they have managed to “hit some button” from people, and some viewers have told him that the days “the content to digest” was the one he was staging. Thank you for the welcome and atmosphere that has awakened the day of action.

They've also been surprised by the answer they've had and the answer they've seen when turning on the lights in the room: “We had the script so worked, we worked with humor and had a good time. That’s why I didn’t expect any tears I’d seen in the end, I couldn’t even connect with people,” says Barrenetxea. Rather than thrilling, they thought they would create discomfort.

Citizen mirror

“Some have felt very reflected, and we have sought to set ourselves in Hernani and represent the situations we have in our daily lives, and to be a mirror,” said Arrieta. At the beginning of the work you see a group of friends taking a drink and one of them tells you that he has suffered an attack. But the reaction of their friends, far from protecting themselves, sinks further. Then the reactions of others begin in a disinterested way: comments that question the woman who has denounced the aggression, gossip about what she has done, looks, sentences... “Who was it with when it happened? But doesn't that have a partner? Who is the aggressor? And where? And how was I dressed?”

Photo: Uxue Bereziartua Lonbide / ARGIA CC BY, S.A.

They have also staged the attitude of the community in closing the process: “hold accounts” and criticisms of those who have been part of the management, “advice” unsolicited from the aggressor, constantly judging the aggressor, etc. The actors have represented the number of explanations suddenly held by citizens who have not been involved at all in the process of the years, although they are supposed to be good intentions.

“We didn’t want to blame, we wanted everyone to feel identified with all the papers; we haven’t separated a bad voice from a good one,” Arrieta says. They have not wanted to judge what attitudes are right and wrong: “We wanted to show that we all have this kind of behavior, which serves to reflect on how to act next time or how and where to talk about this issue.”

“This has happened to me”

In the elaboration of the script a great weight has been given and some keys have been respected such as working from humor. They started in January and have been adapting for three or four months thanks to input from team members during the tests. “We’ve spent a lot of time deciding what and how we wanted to convey,” says Barrenetxea. They have also paid particular attention to the lack of rigour in aggression: “We didn’t want people to represent a particular attack, because it’s not just an attack. We didn’t want to relate to concrete situations.” After turning around the script, they find the formula: Through the phrase “This has happened to me, here and with this” the attack has become popular. “Just say it, people will make their story in the head,” says Barrenetxea.

In addition to what is said, they have also cared for who says so that nobody would feel uncomfortable with the role played: “We have tried to be very aware of the role it has played in function of the experiences it has had in the process or in life.” Although they define the group as “amateur”, on stage they have shown a high level, and so the audience has made it, “they did not expect us to do so well”, Barrenetxea and Arrieta have taken with humor. To this end, they have had the collaboration of Miren Gojenola and Esti Veintemillas, among others, in the management and preparation of actors.

“We laugh and the ridiculization of situations has allowed us to experience the process of aggression from elsewhere”

They also played a rare role: the work was represented in sign language by Lierni Mateo. Matthew, a member of the process and translator of the sign language, proposed to interpret the work from within, beyond the translation. According to Matthew, for the deaf it is an obstacle that the translation and the scene are separated, and the best way is for the interpreter to be himself; in fact, it is anecdotal to see it. Matthew has not had to learn to cast his voice like others, but has directly interpreted all the roles of acting. The success of the translation of sign language among the public was about nine people, who claim to have been very grateful. The translation of Basque into Spanish was used by about five people.

Repair exercise

On the day of the performance Barrenetxea and Arrieta felt “joy and gratitude”, but they stress that the process to get there has been the most enriching. As they have experienced internally the process of managing male violence, they say that the theater has been “the best part”: “Good environment, creator, builder, group generator and special energy...”. They remember that the processes are difficult and that the theater has helped them relieve that burden: “The initial pain and tiredness add to the joy, love and other feelings that we consider more positive,” says Barrenetxea. Arrieta adds that it has given him peace of mind to work the theme from humor: “I have laughed and allowed myself to experience the process from another place.” Barrenetxea agrees that the theater has allowed them to work from the body and sensations rather than from the rational and mental.

Photo: Uxue Bereziartua Lonbide / ARGIA CC BY, S.A.

They explain that it has been “enormous training work” and that the participants have been very grateful. “Let it be those involved in the process that we have been preparing and doing everything…”, believes Barrenetxea that they have succeeded in it. Arrieta adds that it has served them to collectivize some issues of loneliness and recognize mines: “We have all decided which role we play each other and we have put on the table that some papers don’t want because they move us too much.” In the opinion of Barrenetxea, in addition to the observation, it has generated empowerment: “Although it is not that role, after all, everyone tells the people what has happened.”

In the last house is repeated the initiation, when he communicates the attack to his friends: “This and this has happened to me.” They call on the mosquita to decide how to act.

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