Marinaleda – 1804 km away from Turin – May, 13-14-15 2012
We visited Granada shortly, then we arrived in Marinaleda. After the shopping crowds we were astonished by the lonely and sunny landscapes that surrounded this little village in Andalusia. If it wasn’t for our partners in Seville we would never get here. It was a torrid sunday afternoon (almost 40°) and we were welcomed by Esperanza, a young woman who told us the story of the little village while she was constantly looking after her little child. Marinaleda is the oldest example of communist utopia ever realized in Spain after General Franco’s dictatorship; it is a small village with little more than 1200 inhabitants, most of them are farmers, who created a collective organization to defend the right to own land, to have social services, health care and work for women. Today Marinaleda is a community based on a co-operative association that guarantees jobs and services to most of its members. “Paz, pan y trabajo” (Peace, bread and work) is what you read on a colored graffiti entering the village.
The Macedonia (fruit salad)
There is no better place to prepare a fruit salad than a village surrounded by fields. In the morning, with the help of Esperanza we went to the houses, the school and the factory asking for fruits in exchange for our show. Todo el mundo lo sabe si pasa la megafonía. When in Spain, do as the spaniards do. We fitted our van with a megaphone and drove through the village to announce our show. The factory was established by the co-operative association to give women a job that was less hard than working in the fields. An important step which gave women the opportunity to be self-sufficient and not to get necessarily married. It is a can and tomato sauce factory and as we entered the noise of the machineries mingled powerfully with a song by Ricky Martin. Women laughed and joked around. We waited for their break to invite them to the show. We met the workers in the factory. They made jokes on the show. We told them about Erika and they looked at us astonished: “Young, pregnant, without a husband? there is nothing strange about it!”. They would come and watch Precipito, they were curious but some of them did not want to stand in front of the video camera. They ran away. In the village we met older retired women, we introduced us and offered our show in exchange for fruits, then we asked them to join us for the fruit salad preparation.
The performance in Marinaleda has been the most difficult to organize, particularly for the hot weather that drained our energies. Before the show we prepared the fruit salad, it was amazing to see the old women arrive with sacks full of fruits and knives in their hands: they were ready to peel. Then we performed the play in the town hall square, the place where everyone meet at night: old and young people, moms with pushchairs, boys riding their Enduro. We know that the world of the young characters of the show is pretty far from the life in this village, but they enjoyed the performance and paid attention to it. At the end we talked, discussed and ate the fruit salad.
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