Anderson, Indiana

Playwright Hector Aristizabal performs at PACT chapel

Tue, 2010-02-23 11:37 -- univcomm
February 23, 2010

Playwright Hector Aristizábal, Creative Director at ImaginAction, performed "Nightwind" at the AU Peace and Conflict Transformation (PACT) chapel on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. A workshop was offered after Aristizábal's performance to help the audience digest what it is they have witnessed, as well as their emotions, thoughts and questions in "Nightwind."  Nightwind" is a solo performance by Aristizábal reenacting his arrest and torture by the military in Colombia and is designed to solicit discussion and explore alternate outcomes.

nightwind_21 "Nightwind" was created in collaboration with writer Diane Lefer and musician Enzo Fina who accompanies Aristizábal onstage with a live soundscore. [Photo on left: Hector Aristizábal performs in "Nightwind". Photo credit: ImaginAction web site.]

In a recent article in The Herald Bulletin about "Nightwind," Aristizábal says, “It tells the story of my own experience in Medellin, Colombia. I was tortured there by paramilitaries in 1982.

"I began performing the play three years ago when I saw the photographs of what was taking place in a prison in Iraq. After that, I decided it was time to create this play and perform it."

Aristizábal will be on campus until Thursday, Feb. 25. The schedule of events includes:

  • Wedn., Feb. 24 lunch at Mocha Joe's from 12-2 p.m.
  • Wedn., Feb. 24 "Awaken Your Imagination" workshop in Fine Arts 101 from 7-9 p.m.
  • Thurs., Feb. 25 coffee in Cafe Ole from 10-11 a.m.
  • Thurs., Feb. 25 lunch at Mocha Joe's from 12:15-1:30 p.m.

The PACT Program was established in 1997 through the vision of Maurice and Dondeena Caldwell. The program seeks to encourage the inclusion of the concerns of peace and conflict transformation into the existing curriculum and campus life. The program also offers a Peace and Conflict Transformation minor.

For more information, contact Dr. Marian Osborne Berky or call (765) 641-4559.

Aristizábal founded ImaginAction to help people tap the transformative power of theatre in programs throughout the US, Latin America, Europe and around the world, as far afield as Afghanistan, India, and Palestine, for community building and reconciliation, strategizing, and individual healing and liberation. Through experiential workshops, theater performances and other creative events, ImaginAction invites participants to explore embodied knowledge, challenge the inevitability of violence, and use their imaginations for a more just and joyous life for all people.

Hector Aristizábal Bio

Aristizábal is a native from Medellin Colombia and currently lives in Pasadena CA. His commitment to the human rights work forced him to leave his country in 1989 due to death threats. Aristizábal holds an MA degree in Psychology from the Antioquia University in Medellin, Colombia and a degree as a Marriage Family Therapist from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena. He is also a theater director and actor and a practitioner of the techniques known as Theater of the Oppressed, developed by Brazilian Augusto Boal. Hector has worked with youth at risk in several capacities as a therapist, as an artist and as a community organizer. As an artist Hector has been the recipient of several grants from Los Angeles’ Cultural Affairs Department, California Arts Council and many others, to develop original theater work with special constituencies. He is the co-founder of CITYSCAPE, an Art Therapy program and works as a consultant for several organizations in the Los Angeles area. Hector has also traveled extensively offering workshops both within the United States as well as other countries such as: Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Cuba, India, The Netherlands, England, Palestine and Israel.

Aristizábal is also a member of The Colombia Peace Project, which aims to educate Americans on the U.S. role in war torn Colombia and build up grassroots solidarity with the millions of Colombians who support a peaceful, negotiated solution to the conflict.

During the last 15 years Aristizábal’s main work and interest has been on the use of Theater of The Oppressed techniques, traditional myths and story telling as a way to combine theater, drumming, and dance with psychotherapy in the creation of “modern rituals” as a way to address the healing needs of many of our communities. He develops this work mostly with youth at risk, The Victims of Torture Program where he is in charge of “The healing Club,” inside prisons with the California Youth Authority, through Children’s Institute International, among other agencies.

In 2001, Aristizábal participated in the creation The Center for the Theater of the Oppressed and Applied Theater Arts of Los Angeles – CTO-ATA-LA – dedicated to the development/application of the techniques, inspired by Brazilian theater activist, Augusto Boal.

Aristizábal is father to Gabo and Camila and loves doing street theater.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2009, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the sixth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.