Last summer, RWI presented the work of theatre group Artzenico, and their unique project Irse Hacia el Norte (Going Northbound). Last month, the project wrapped with after two months of travelling and performing throughout Central America, Mexico, and the United States. The project culminated with shows at the New Orleans Fringe Festival in late November, after starting their journey in Guatemala two months earlier.
The Artzenico blog shared the following thoughts and reflections on the project:
“The play in Coatzacoalcos was spectacular; we presented on the railroad tracks. The participation of the audience, most of them migrants, the participation of the passing cars and even the train, our invited cast; they all made this night one we will never forget. In Guadalajara we presented the play alongside local grupo Raíces, offering a night of theater and migration in benefit of pro-migrant organization FM4 Paso Libre. In Tucson, we showed the play in a church, where we had the opportunity to explore the ritual elements of the play more. In the Fringe Festival in New Orleans we were able to share the experiences of the whole trip, with participation of the members of dance group NOHA. It was a series of four, where for the first time we were able to develop the play over several days. They were four nights full of emotion. To be able to take (an essence of) the reality of migration to the stage in a theater festival was wonderful.”
“The experiences in this project have been more than we are able to write. The most enriching ones have been the moments of human contact with all the people we have met along the way. A strong experience has also been the first contact with the train in Arriaga. It was the first time that we saw what we had been seeing in documentaries for so long. The rails, the train, the sound of the horn have started to mean other things to us, that they used to. Even in New Orleans – where we had barely noticed its existence last year – the train and its sounds followed us.”
We look forward to seeing what comes next for Artzenico and their partners after this impressive journey and theater experience exploring the migrant experience in Central and North America.