Social Justice Through Theatre – An afternoon conversation with Colombian playwright and activist Patricia Ariza

Patricia Ariza, Artistic Director of La Corporación Colombiana de Teatro, is a beacon of hope and awareness in engaged theatre in a context of civil war. As a child, Ariza became one of Bogota’s million refugees. Later at university, she initiated student involvement in social issues through artistic expression. Upon graduating she began producing high quality independent theatre and in 1966 co-founded Colombia’s first alternative theatre – Teatro La Candelaria. Ariza has formulated a special approach to theatre making that promotes social interaction and thereby reduces conflict. She focuses on specific group such as women displaced by violence, the elderly or market vendors, and through testimony and re-enactment, develops a script centered on the issues in their collective lives. Personal experience is then transformed into matter for public dialogue through performance. Ariza is the Founding Director of projects such as the Cultural Theatre Movement, National Festival of New Theatre, Festival of Alternative Theatre and the Women on Stage Festival. Patricia Ariza has been honoured with the 2007 Prince Claus Award (Denmark) for her outstanding work over decades to empower the disadvantaged, enabling them to transform their lives through cultural activities, for her efforts to counteract injustice and restore social memory, and for her energetic commitment to the reduction of conflict.

Date: Tuesday, May 22nd., 2012
Time: 5:00 p.m.

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