President of Fundación Teatro Joven for the project "Resistance & Collaboration: Landscapes of Devastation"
Mr. Rodríguez Peralto, why is transnational exchange so important when it comes to NS injustice and memory culture?
In a radically diverse Europe with radically diverse societies, we consider transnational exchange indispensable in order to shape the present and the future, especially in younger generations, based on a shared understanding of responsibility.
Theatre helps us to facilitate transnational remembrance work and look at lesser-known fates of persecution that resulted from specific constellations of resistance and collaboration in Greece, Spain and Ukraine. We are looking differently at our traditions of remembrance and, with the means of artistic education, carry out European remembrance work that can be experienced together.
The project is committed to a European civil society that is growing together and would like to use the means of artistic education to jointly experience European remembrance work. All three projects see themselves as uncomfortable interventions in entrenched (national) cultures of memory.
The word “resistance” is a rather loaded one. What does it mean in the context of the project taking place at Teatro Joven?
On the one hand, we consider resistance against the German occupation in Greece and Ukraine and the role of the International Brigades. What suffering was caused by the alliance of fascist forces across Europe? The project also aims to strengthen skills in dealing critically with violent continuities.
The liberal International Brigades, together with the legitimate, democratic government of Spain, fought against Spanish fascists supported by German and Italian fascist troops. Spanish republicans were deported to Dachau and Mauthausen, another connection between Nazi injustice and the Spanish Civil War.
We look in particular at the partisan resistance against the German occupation in northern Greece, which finds its continuation in the resistance against the later military junta. What happened to those who opposed fascist violence? We chose the perspective of "resistance and collaboration" to question the memory traditions of Spain, Germany, Greece and Ukraine.
How do the three theatre productions with directors Prodromos Tsinikoris (Greece), Stas Zhyrkov (Ukraine/Germany) and José Luis Arellano García (Spain) come together?
The three productions are related in terms of content and aesthetics as well as in the development of methodologies to impact teenagers and youngsters. Even though the three world premieres pursue different artistic strategies and use different formal languages, the artistic coordinator of the project, Martin Valdés-Stauber, is facilitating a constant exchange. He is also the natural link for the three directors because he selected the artists involved and designed the projects and their content.
Last September the three directors, along with members of their artistic teams and the Spanish managing team, spent three days together at a country house in the region of Navarra in Spain. They exchanged points of view about the three theatre productions, digital content and a comprehensive accompanying school program in order to jointly open up a European space of remembrance. The experience surpassed all our expectations.