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Category Archives: Fim making

PEACE IS INEVITABLE!

I’m happy to say that we will soon be in Croydon (South London) to present the documentary “Peace is Inevitable” at an event about how to prevent knife crime, a hugely challenging social issue that has resulted with the loss of around 50 lives in London last year.

Over the last 30 years Simon and I have been exploring and researching conflict in our workshops, courses and productions. I can humbly say that we have learned a thing or two about it – when you practice something you get good at it! This research into the heart of  conflict to create drama and comedy, has also led us to understand what creates and drives inhumane behaviour towards others and to discover solutions. Conflict is like an anxious river. It’s waters struggling up and down, over rocks and clay, around bends, over cliffs and cascades in an endless arduous journey… but eventually, ALWAYS, the river ends up merging with the ocean, it’s true destination. “Peace is Inevitable” talks about this inevitable fact that sooner or later we come across: that Peace is within us. The title comes from a gang leader from Ibarra, a small town in Northen Ecuador. He had entered into the toxic spiral of turmoil and tragedy until he hit rock bottom. Finaly he said no, enough is enough and with the help of  the Peace Education Program, from the Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF), he and other gang members changed from the inside. Not because someone made them change but because they recognised the need themselves, from within.

We set up a projector and screen in the street and watch the doc with the gang members in Ibarra (Ecuador)

 

Gang members talk about their change with journalist Giovanna Tassi at the RPE (Ecuador National Radio).

 

With teachers, filming in a school in Quito where the gang members run a workshop about drug prevention.

Simon and Marian have spent more than a quarter of a century working with drama in Theatre and Film. As well as collaborating with TPRF they are the founders of The Actors Space, a renowened International centre for Theatre and Film near Barcelona. Click here to find out about the 21st summer Workshops.

Celebrating 20 years at The Actors Space

Come and celebrate at The Actors Space, near Barcelona!

Dramatic Writing 24th-29th July (fully booked)
The Creative Actor 2nd-10th August
The Art of Comedy 14th-22nd August
Screen Acting 26th August-3rd September (only a few places available)

 

Simon and Marian from The Actors Space report from Colombia

 

BUILDING THE DEFENSES OF PEACE, ITUANGO, COLOMBIA

Here is a blog I’ve written about a documentary we are making for The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) and their Peace Education Program. This program in Colombia is helping people recover in  places where war has been present – Marian Masoliver, film maker, teacher and director at The Actors Space.

After 7 hours of winding and slow roads with spectacular mountain views we arrive at our destination late into the night…

Ituango is a village hanging in the lap of a mountain range, indeed in the mountainous region of Antioquia, in deep Colombia. Dark streets (noticeably the electricity here is less present than in the valleys) and rain meet us, the weary travelers.

At dawn this tiny village is already buzzing with life, cowboys riding their horses, endless trucks carrying all sorts of materials, the ‘Jaidukama’, indigenous people that bring incredible color to the village (it takes two walking days to travel to their farms they tell us), and the ‘chivas’, local buses that go as far as there are roads into the wilderness, for the rest of their journey home people travel by mule.

It all creates a wonderful, powerful and rich tapestry of life, full of sound, color and joy.

We spent 4 nights in Ituango. If I had not known what has happened here I would never have guessed. The “Ituanguinos” are very kind, generous people.

But, unlike the urban cities of Colombia, this village has experienced the cruelty of war. Because of it’s geographical position the village has been used and abused for decades by both the guerrilla and the paramilitary, both fighting for power over coca production and drug trafficking.

Our small team from the TPRF are here to run The Peace Education Program (PEP) in the village school. Because of the difficulty getting here PEP is run as an introductory intensive program over three days. What get’s revealed after the three day program is shocking: the terrible reality of war and the thirst for help are so palpable…

And then there is Prem Rawat and his Peace Education program.

“I felt strange, it was like another me. For the first time in my life I have felt Peace and Fulfilment, I have been looking for this for 12 years” says Mercedes, a 15 years old student that attended PEP.

“What Mr, Prem Rawat is doing is an act of altruism. I would like to invite him to sit with victims and perpetuators, we all need to hear his message…there is no enemy because it is our friends and families that have been involved, this war has affected us all…” says a teacher that participated in the program.

I am also blown away by the clarity and wisdom that three 16 years old girls express during the interviews “Peace is within us, and for Peace to manifest in the community we first need to feel it as individuals. We need PEP for our families, for the community, we have all suffered too much.”

 

We also have the chance to interview the school director who tells us the crude facts of the war that she has had to survive. “PEP was a big thing for us, it was wonderful… we’ve been alone, without any help to heal, the teachers need help so they can teach well, their mental and emotional health need attention. PEP can help a lot. We are experts of war but we do not know about Peace…”.
At night, the “Rancheras” play loudly in every tavern, the streets are full of young people, couples, kids and families…

The only ‘disturbance’ for us is the van that wakes us up very morning at 5am announcing the 5:30h mass for the villagers on loud speakers.
But it is also clear that faith has helped these people in times where there was nothing else to hold onto.

And as we say goodbye I feel the sadness of the people, they express that they want to learn more from Prem Rawat.

The will of this people to prosper, in the middle of such difficulty, to go forward and the insistence of Joy itself after the darkest times has made a powerful impact on me.

Finally the defenses of Peace are being built and I am so humbled by this experience and the people of Ituango.

See related blog From Fiction to Facts

A few places left on the International Theatre & Film summer Workshops

 

Marian Masoliver from Ituango, Colombia.

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