martes, 3 de octubre de 2017


In its attempt to bringing local actors with human rights activists from all over the world, Magdalenas Berlin organized a get-together with an association from the city focusing on helping women who live with HIV, the Berlin Aids Hilfe.

The Berlin Aids Hilfe has been committed to campaigning for the social acceptance of HIV-positive people, human rights, participation, inclusion and solidarity for more than 30 years now. “Metoca” is an NGO in Central America that fights for the rights and empowerment of women who live with HIV and they were active part of the festival. It is a women-specific project of the ICW, the first of its type to get funding. Some of the organizers joined an open discussion about different strategies to support women living with HIV in the framework of the II Ma(g)dalena International Festival  that took place 13-17 September 2017 in Berlin. Adama Thorlie, the representative of the Berliner Aids Hilfe e.V., was also part of the conversation, moderated by Bárbara Santos, the director of the Festival.

The work of both organizations has a similar focus – to empower women who live with HIV and reduce stigma, which is very often just one of the multiple factors that can lead to discrimination and isolation. People living with HIV are more likely to be depressive, and this is something the Berliner Aids Hilfe is aware of. That is why they organize trips for migrant women with HIV who cannot afford to go on holidays and get a little bit of rest, away from their daily chores. Empowerment workshops are also a very important part of their program. Women should be able to not think about HIV the first thing in the morning, although, it is easier said than done, explained Adama. Apart from giving information about the HIV treatment and prevention, he Berliner Aids Hilfe organizes monthly meetings, yoga and Christmas events for HIV-positive women and their families.

Metoca also focuses on the way women living with HIV perceive themselves. The medication in Latin America is very strong and it makes changes in your body, said Lorena from the organization. That is why it’s so important to give back the power to these bodies that became stigmatized after the diagnosis. To women living with HIV, as to the rest of the women, their reproductive rights are on top of their agenda. They want to decide how to give birth, and if they want to give birth.

Metoca understands, among others, that HIV is the cause and effect of violence against women in many cases. For that reason, Forum Theatre is an incredible source of strategies to make a real impact, not only at a policy-making  level, but also at the community base. It is a very effective way to start a dialogue, and also to create new alliances with other women, HIV-positive or not. Next year they will present a documentary showing the working process in 11 Latin American countries.

viernes, 22 de septiembre de 2017


The second night of the II Ma(g)dalena International Festival started on a quite sad note. The Guatemala-Xela Magdalenas presented their installation #NosDuelen56, dedicated to the 56 Guatemalan girls that were killed due to government negligence on March 8th, 2017. The work consists of explanatory texts (both in English and Spanish), poetry, images, and a doll crafting table, where visitors are encouraged to create a doll and give her the name of one of the girls who died while protesting against the abuses that were committed on them in the shelter where they were living. After repeating out loud "Stop killing girls! Stop raping girls!", the visitors used the materials to create dolls and poetry dedicated to the girls.

Inside the Studio 1 at Uferstudios Berlin we could also admire the photo exhibition “Marias do Brazil: law and art” by Noélia Albuquerque about the struggle of the Forum Theatre Group Marias do Brazil – composed by women working as housemaids – for changing of the work laws.
The performance of the night was presented by the Group Madalena-Anastácia from Rio de Janeiro, who staged the Forum-Theatre-Musical "Nega ou Negra?" Dressed in white, they first explained where their name comes from. Anastácia was an African princess who was taken as a slave to Brazil and who was tortured to death for fighting oppression. Now Anastácia is a symbol of resistance and for black women in Brazil.

The piece is developed from an aesthetic investigation about the over-sexualized image of the black woman and rape culture. At the beginning of the play, we could see news headers from Brazil that highlighted that sexual violence and rape against black women has grown rapidly in the past years. At the same time, typical Carnival songs glorify rape and racism. The excuse? Music is art and art is culture and culture is freedom - so at least to the Brazilian courts. The theatre play invited the audience to take a critical look at the "culture" that promotes and naturalizes sexism, racism, and violence against black women. The response of the public was various and creative, and at the end, the lyrics of one of the songs were changed so that they would empower black women.

After the forum, the group performed a traditional dance named Jongo, a dance of African origin and danced to the sound of drums. A part of the Afro-Brazilian culture, the rhythm was brought to Brazil by Bantu blacks, kidnapped to be sold as slaves. The dance had a strong influence in shaping the samba and also in popular culture of Brazil as a whole. At the end, the audience was invited to join the dancers on stage and perform a collective dance for (and with the permission of) the ancestors.

jueves, 14 de septiembre de 2017


 Produced by Madalena-Berlin theatre group with the support of KURINGA, space for Theatre of the Oppressed in Berlin, the II Ma(g)dalena International Festival opened its doors at the Berliner Uferstudios on Wednesday 13th September at 7pm.

In spite of the rain, many visitors from the neighborhood and all Berlin gathered to inaugurate a festival that celebrates the progress of the Ma(g)dalena network and seeks effective means to broaden the articulation between feminist theatre groups, social movements and organizations.
The opening day of the festival addressed the intersection of sexism and racism, and focused on the voices of women of color. The first act was performed by Brazilian dancer Fernanda Dias. Faced with crucial episodes in childhood, Dandaluanda, the piece's main character, learns to talk to the Baobab tree and discovers the ancestral force that protects her. Through the conversations with the tree, the girl finds the foundations of her black identity and understands her destiny as queen. Music and dance helped the audience to follow Dandaluanda in this journey of discovery and self-recognition. Fernanda Dias' Portuguese words were dubbed in English so that all the audience could participate in the performance.

In the Forum Theatre piece Schwarz, Black, Preta presented by the group Anastácia-Berlin, black women took over the stage to represent everyday situations of racism and invited the audience to commit to the transformation of a system that propagates violence, deepens injustice and is based on exploitation. How to speak up against the racist, sexist and homophobic aggressions that black women suffer on a daily basis? The objective of the forum was to explore ways to navigate these situations, grow stronger and make alliances. Women of color experience double discrimination and exclusion based on race and gender, an experience that is often overseen or invalidated by many white women, as we could see in one of the characters in the play. The actresses were focused and at the same time warm and funny, making the public engage even more in the discussion.
After the play, the Anastácias stressed out the importance of Black Feminism and how the experience of sexism and racism cannot be separated. They talked about how, in the beginning of the feminist movement in Brazil, white women were fighting for their right to enter the workplace while their black grandmothers were being brought to the country in order to work.  The Ma(g)dalenas Berlin explained that it was not long ago that they started addressing the issues that were specific to black women, but that they believe that there is a necessity to give voice to those who suffer racism and sexism.

The last piece of the night was performed by a group of women from Guinea-Bissau, who sang traditional songs in their vernacular language that highlighted the value of women in society. While the performers played their traditional instruments, the public clapped their hands and sang along, the best way to finish the first day of the II International Ma(g)dalena Festival.

miércoles, 23 de agosto de 2017


Madalena-Berlin ist eine Forum-Theatergruppe und Teil von Kuringa Berlin. Seit März 20011 arbeitet das Frauenkollektiv „Madalenas“ mit acht Frauen und der künstlerischen Leitung Bárbara Santos, an dem Forschungsprozess zu dem Themen Unterdrückung der Frau im 21. Jahrhundert. Im Rahmen von Workshops, Diskussionen und Theater Foren entwickelte die Gruppe das Forumtheaterstück „Bilder von Frauen“.

Das Forum-Theater stellt eine grundlegende Technik des Theaters der Unterdrückten dar. An erster Stelle wird mit einer szenischen Repräsentation die reale Problematik in Form einer Fragestellung vor dem Publikum eingeführt.  Danach sind die Zuschauer eingeladen, die Bühne zu betreten und in die Rolle der Protagonistin zu schlüpfen um in die dramatische Handlung einzugreifen und dabei konkrete Alternativen zur Transformation der inszenierten Realität auszuprobieren.

Das Theater der Unterdrückten ist eine künstlerische Methode, welche die Veränderung einer bestimmten Realität mit ästhetischen Mitteln anstrebt. Dabei wird eine kritische Beobachtung der Realität stimuliert und mit dem Einnehmen einer Position dieser gegenüber, die Bewusstwerdung und ein konkrete Handlung produziert. Dafür wird die Barriere zwischen Bühne und Publikum eliminiert und ein freier Austausch in einem offenen und demokratischen Dialog über Handlungsalternativen etabliert.

lunes, 21 de agosto de 2017

NO MEANS NO! II Festival of Ma(g)dalena International Network

Woman’s NO: the denial expressed by a body socially identified as woman’s.

Woman’s NO can easily become inaudible, imperceptible or even unacceptable, losing the status of a logical message, to be considered as sterile word. The woman’s NO can be interpreted as charming, seductive game and inability for decision, or simple bureaucratic repetition of moral convention. Woman’s denial would only precede, although delaying, the assertion. Woman’s NO is interpreted as an introduction of woman’s yes.

What’s the problem of understanding the sense of NO when the facial expression, the sound of the voice and physical movements belong to a body socially identified as woman’s? Like a woman's voice would "naturally" be a statement of affirmation? The softness and sweetness, social requirements for the composition of a female body, would create the inevitable impression of acceptance? The concept of femininity represents an obstacle to the negative expression? What is behind, inside, above, outside, beside and below the perception of women's NO?

Violence becomes a tragic consequence of this everyday life miscommunication, which puts the physical and it’s integrity of millions of women in the whole world at risk.

Therefore, the II. Internationale Ma(g)dalena Festival "No means No" proposes an aesthetic and political reflection on these and other issues to articulate effective actions to end violence against women.
NO MEANS NO! - II Festival of Ma(g)dalena International Network

Initiative: Ma(g)dalen International Network

Coordination: Madalena-Berlin Theater Group
Support: KURINGA - Space for the Theater of the Oppressed in Berlin

Ma(g)dalena International Network is composed by female theatre groups from Latin
America, Europe and Africa who promote discussion and concrete actions for women’
rights. Each group member, through Forum Theatre plays, stimulates public debates
about the oppressions faced by women, and dynamizes the search for concrete
alternatives to the identified injustices.

lunes, 13 de febrero de 2017


II Festival de la Red Ma(g)dalena Internacional
Por el fin de la violencia contra las mujeres!

13 a 17 de Septiembre de 2017

No de Mujer es la negativa expresada por un cuerpo socialmente identificado como mujer.

No de Mujer normalmente no se escucha, es imperceptible y tantas veces, inaceptable, perdiendo su condición de mensaje lógico para convertirse en palabra estéril. Interpretado como duda, juego de seducción, incapacidad para tomar decisiones o una simple repetición burocrática de convención moral.

El NO de la mujer se transforma en un tipo de negación que sirve apenas para anteceder, haciéndose esperar, una afirmación, como una simple expresión para introducir el Sí de la mujer

¿De dónde surge esta dificultad para comprender el sentido del NO cuando la expresión facial, el sonido y los movimientos físicos pertenecen a un cuerpo socialmente identificado como mujer?
La voz de mujer sería, por lo tanto, ¿la voz de la afirmación? La suavidad, la dulzura, exigencias sociales para la composición del ser femenino, ¿crean una expresión de inevitable aceptación? Qué es lo que está detrás, dentro, por encima, a lados de la percepción del NO de la mujer.

La consecuencia trágica de la dificultad de comunicar la negativa es una violencia continua hacia la integridad física y psíquica de millones de mujeres.

Por eso el festival propone una reflexión estética y política sobre esas y otras cuestiones para articular unas acciones efectivas por el fin de la violencia contra las mujeres.

No significa No – II Festival de la Red Ma(g)dalena Internacional

Iniciativa: Rede Ma(g)dalena Internacional – Teatro de las Oprimidas
Realización: Grupo Madalena-Berlín
Apoyo: KURINGA – espacio para el Teatro do Oprimido en Berlín
13 a 17 de septiembre de 2017
Berlín – Alemania

La Red Ma(g)dalena Internacional - Teatro de las Oprimidas - está compuesta por grupos feministas de Latinoamérica, Europa, África y Asia que promueven la discusión y la creación de acciones concretas en pro de los derechos de las mujeres.