Pablo Fidalgo, SPAIN
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PAIN. CHAPTER ONE: MUM´S THE WORD
directed by: Pablo Fidalgo
Fidalgo’s most personal and political text as yet is a powerful monodrama performed by the phenomenal film and TV actor Gonzalo Cunill.
In May 2021, the Spanish author and director Pablo Fidalgo saw a photograph of his old school building on the cover of El País and an article about the violence and abuse suffered by students there in the 1960s. He realised that, in the 1990s, he himself had gone through the same experience that was isolated and silenced by time. He decided to talk in theatre about institutional violence and about several generations of children and youth, pupils and students of Church schools. And about a society that, even decades after the fall of Franco’s dictatorship, is incapable of renascence. Despite the democratic system, the same authoritarian practices exist at many of levels. They fail to protect the weak and fragile, and deny violence in order to retain their positions. Fidalgo’s most personal and political text as yet is a powerful monodrama performed by the phenomenal film and TV actor Gonzalo Cunill.
directed and text by: Pablo Fidalgo
peformer: Gonzalo Cunill
lights design: Bruno Stantos
artistic cooperation: Amalia Area
Super 8 images: Manuel Lareo Costas
audio-video: Eduardo Tejada
artistic assistant and photography: Carla Cabané
production: Elena Artesescenicas, Teatro de la Abadía, Wiener Festwochen
in collaboration with: del Teatro Jovellanos de Gijón, Los Barros (Carlos Marquerie – Elena Córdoba) y Escuela Yera Vegade Pas
thanks to: Iñigo Domínguez Gabiña, Javier Álvarez Blázquez, José Telmo Pera, Xosé Viana, Julio Jimenez, Bela Nagy, Alex Stanciu
presentation at Divadelná Nitra supported by the Slovak Arts Council, the Nitra Self-Governing Region, The City of Nitra, SPP Foundation, LITA — authors’ society
Pablo Fidalgo (1984) is an author, theatre maker and independent curator. He is the author of the theatre projects O estado salvaxe, Espanha 1939 [Wild State. Spain 1939] (2013) and Habrás de ir a la guerra que empieza hoy [You Will Be in the War that Starts Today] (2015). Both productions won the award for the production of the year by the daily Público. In Lisbon, Portugal, he presented the productions Daniel Fária (2017) and Anarquismos [Anarchisms, 2018]. His latest work is the production at Madrid’s Centro Dramático Nacional El libro de Sicilia [The Book of Sicily, 2021]. He published, inter alia, collections of poems La educación física [Physical Education, 2010], La retirada [Leaving, 2012], Esto temía esto deseaba [This Is What I Was Afraid Of, This Is What I Wanted, 2017], El perro en la puerta de la casa [Dog at the Door to the House, 2021] and La dejadez [Indifference, 2022]. He founded and artistically directed the Escenas do Cambio festival in Santiago de Compostela.
“The writer and poet Pablo Fidalgo does not mention the most difficult cases of paedophilia, but mostly the psychological and physical violence that accompanied the teaching method. If a traumatic experience tends to often erase everything, forcing the body to conceal poorly healed wounds so that the mind doesn’t notice them, the very act of writing can help reconnect that broken bond. ‘The poetic writing which I arrive from, is precisely like that,’ comments Fidalgo. ‘It is tissue, the building of memory, it is a descent to the first memories, dreams, first sounds and smells.’ (…) The #Me Too initiative has given voice to an incredible number of rape and sexual abuse victims. Only later did we realise that even we could have been attacked. We thus go through the past anew, amazed and ashamed that we didn’t understand, didn’t speak or weren’t heard. Yet, change is persistently knocking on the door, despite the harsh stumbles of former Hollywood stars. So, what is left after grief? (…) If #Me Too contributed to the empowerment of many women, it also proved the fragility of all of us.”
(Público, www.publico.es, 10. 6. 2022)