Migration is a topic that many people can relate to, and a new play – based on real life experiences – will explore the four main reasons why people decide to migrate and will challenge the oppressive policies surrounding it. It will be shown in London this June.
Mehdy C Ortiz
Expression Inka UK is a London based Latin-American educational, artistic and cultural organisation that opened its doors in 2007 to unite the migrant community of all ages and nationalities. With the aim of promoting educational and social activities as well as arts and culture, the organisation’s members have gained awareness of their histories, customs and traditions.
They in turn hope to share Latin American histories, customs and traditions, as well the culture and direct connection with Latin American roots, which are a fundamental part of their identity. Theatre, dance, music and poetry all form part of an Expression Inka theatrical production entitled “Migrants” (Migrantes), which will be the organisation’s seventh play.
Previous plays to date include “The Inca Empire” (El Imperio de los Incas ) in 2009, “The Tauhuantinsuyo Empire” (El Imperio del Tahuantinsuyo) in 2010, “The Empire of the Sun” (El Imperio del Sol) in 2010, “WATER” (AGUA) in 2013, “YAKU- WATER” (YAKU-AGUA) in 2014, and “Camilo Torres” in 2016.
What was the reason behind “Migrants”? Each member of the organisation is a foreigner in the UK, all with similar reasons behind why they left their country in search of better opportunities.
Their nationalities include Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Colombian, Bolivian, Paraguayan and Argentinian, with all of them collectively deciding to become authors and actors of their own stories.
Each of their productions has revolved around portraying a message that reflects on a current social problem. The message in “Migrants” continues this and is simply to “awaken awareness of the causes that the phenomenon of migration produces and the resulting effects that occur in the following generations. The roads of hope go beyond the borders.”
The production looks at four different reasons why people migrate and the theatrical director, Mario Mantilla, explains them: “The first one is the economic reason. People leave their home and everything behind because in the place they live there are no opportunities. So they risk their own lives in order to get to that ‘promise land’, where they find the things they couldn’t find in their own land. The second reason is that of the community leader, the one who dares to denounce and claim for his/her people’s rights, but who is singled out , suffers persecution and has to flee to another country before he/she is killed. The third one is the well-off, the ones who belongs to the oligarchy families, who are always sent abroad to get a better education and return to continue defending its people’s interests. And the fourth and most common reason nowadays, is that of the people, who have to flee in masses as a consequence war conflicts.”
Mantilla says that he relied heavily on the alienation effect, a theatrical technique employed by Bertolt Brecht that tries to replace emotional manipulation in the theatre with an entertaining or surprising jolt.
His reason for this is “to awaken the audience the critic and rejection, to the oppressive and discriminative migration laws, which are only an evil manipulation of these capitalist systems, which are day by day, trying to divide the people of this world in order to have a better control”.
In “Migrants” all 13 of the characters and actors are immigrants from different Latin American countries. The general director of the play is Marita Minchola; the theatrical director is Mario Mantilla; the musical director is Santiago Hornam; and the dance teacher is Leyli Horna.
“Migrants” will be showing on in London on four dates: Saturday 9 June, 7:30 pm at Calder Bookshop Theatre, 51 The Cut, South Bank, London, SE1 8LF . Sunday 10 June, 5 pm, also at Calder Bookshop Theatre.
Saturday 16 June, 7 pm at Bolivar Hall, 54–56 Grafton Way, London, W1T 5DL. Sunday 17 June, 5 pm, also at Bolivar Hall.
For further information contact: Marita Minchola, General Director – 07737657598 or Mario Mantilla, Theatrical Director – 07865074402