INTERVIEW Performance in the Peace Process: Creating Cultural Brigades
Colombian art-activist and theatre director Patricia Ariza sits down with Canadian-Colombian director, playwright, and actor Beatriz Pizano to discuss the changing climate of art-activism in the wake of the peace agreement between Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government. Ariza discusses her process of creating large-scale performances with activist organizations and communities as well as performances for the stage, which serve as a means of addressing rights emergencies in Colombia. Ariza’s process is contingent upon the long-term relationships she has with communities in crisis as an artist who is in the struggle with them, allowing for a continuous development of performances that are responsive to the urgency of the moment. The aim, for Ariza, is to create performance not as intellectual property but as a spur for a political movement. The conversation turns to a discussion of the Festival de Teatro Alternativo (FESTA), for which Ariza serves as director, and how it serves as a site of encounter for performance-making, knowledge-sharing, and discussions. Ariza calls for more transnational co-productions, what she calls ‘cultural brigades,’ as a method of fostering cultural and political alliances.