Theatre activist comes to Bristol
Press release issued: 29 November 2005
An activist imprisoned for thirteen years under the repressive Stroessner dictatorship in Paraguay is to visit Bristol University as part of an award-winning initiative based in the Department of Hispanic Studies.
Emilio Barreto, a theatrical activist imprisoned and tortured by the Stroessner dictatorship for expressing views offensive to the regime, is the subject of El Arte del Silencio (The Art of Silence), a play by Cardiff-based playwright, Jennifer Hartley which will be performed at the University on Wednesday 30th November.
The project to bring Barreto himself and the play to Bristol was co-ordinated by Rogelio Vallejo, Director of the University’s Language Through Theatre Course, who was born in Paraguay but left due to the country’s cultural and political repressiveness.
El Arte del Silencio explores the different stages of resistance, acceptance and mental anguish Barreto experienced during thirteen years of cell-confinement and torture under the Stroessner dictatorship.
Jennifer Hartley was inspired to write the play after working on her Ph.D. thesis on artistic creativity in the face of political and cultural repression. She also based it on various theatre projects she has undertaken with torture victims. During her research, she spent much time in Paraguay, learned of Barreto's experience and, despite the continuing danger, began collaborating with him.
There will be a public performance of El Arte del Silencio in Spanish on Wednesday 30th November at 8 p.m. in Lecture Theatre 3, Department of Hispanic Portuguese and Latin American Studies, 15 Woodland Road, Bristol, BS8 1TE
This will be followed by a discussion with the author, Jennifer Hartley and Emilio Barreto (who will perform with fellow actor, Nelson Viveros), chaired by Dr. Peter Lambert (University of Bath).
There will be a drama workshop with the author and actors between 14.00 and 17.00 the same day.
For further information and details of bookings for the performance and workshop, please contact: Rogelio Vallejo, Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, University of Bristol, 15 Woodland Road BS8 1TE Tel 0117 928 7496/9777 e-mail R.Vallejo@bristol.ac.uk
The University’s Language Through Theatre Course recently won a 2005 European Award for Language from the CILT, the National Centre for Languages. It is also the winner of this year’s Spanish Embassy Language Prize.