Eighties
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THE EIGHTIES

I was in Madrid from 1976 to 1983.  I returned to that same city from 1988 to 1993. Adding up, I have spent 12 years of my life in Europe, and I say Europe - not Spain only- because, even if my house was in Madrid, I worked not only in Spain but, I had the privilege to b have my plays translated and performed in Italy, Germany, Sweden, Holland, England and Switzerland.   My life in Spain had some distinctive moments: to arrive escaping from the dictatorial state happening in Argentina. Arrive without work, penniless and without the initial contacts made me have to struggle desperately - like anyone else - for a job, a way to support myself. 

Shortly a group of people from different theatrical backgrounds (acting, vocal and corporal training, and dramaturgy) managed to open the Centro de Estudios Teatrales (Center for Theatrical Studies), such opening was very much  welcomed in Madrid. That school of theatre allowed me to develop a very stimulant teaching activity, since the exchange of energy with the new generations of Spanish playwrights was then, a very attractive proposal.

Several years of disorganized travelling, because whenever I had the chance, I would run away in a little old car  that I had managed to acquire, to visit Europe: Paris, Rome, the South, and the North of Spain, Germany. My thirst for travelling had unleashed and distances were so short compared to the long kilometers of Argentina.

My contacts in Germany were perhaps, the most solid ones and affective ones, since I had the opportunity to join the Theater-Und Mediengesellschaft Lateinamerika and Hedda Kage, Haidrum Alder, Katty Rotger were the base  and my contacts to meet Ray Guide Mertin, top of the line agent who proposed the

translation of my novels to two editorial houses, Para que se cumplan todos tus deseos and Mater Erotica.  I also opened my plays in Germany, and that experience allowed me to confront the public, the most demanding critics in the world, as Germany is undoubtedly, along with England, the most solid country in theatrical matters.

I realized  that my plays had some implicit restrictions: few characters, single props.  This called the attention of big German theaters that  had funds to big displays and a lot of actors, more props, unrestricted productions. I believe that it was then when I became aware that Argentine playwrights are always restricted to create an imaginary set that calls for few actors and simple props.

How would my theatre be without that restriction? How would the theatre of my colleagues in Argentina be without that restriction? I have to admit that several times, the display of characters and multiple props  was banal and even ostentatious, but I also felt the impact of societies that bet for their culture, for their artists, for cultural transcendence, in contrast of my country where one has to sweat things out.

It was a big contrast to have to return in 1981 to inaugurate the first cycle of Teatro Abierto. The richness of the experience acquired during that time had a definitive impact in my professional career.

Teatro Abierto was more than a theatrical experience, it transcended the limits of a specific phenomenon to later transform into an event of multiple significance that quickened the demise of censorship in an Argentina still under military rule until 1983.

For someone who has left once and has felt the impact of translation, edition and performance in other languages, it is a wide shock.  What ever was circumscribed to a local sphere, transformed into an international experience.

And that internationalization was a solid base that still remains.

Perhaps, after trying to participate in the democratic government of the President Alfonsín - which had awakened in me and others enormous expectations - I decided to leave.

This was a more comfortable option, I had lived outside the country for seven years and I had plays performed and books edited in Europe. Sometimes, I feel that I will never be able to completely return and that I will never be able to completely leave, as if the experience of that long and productive 12 year period outside of Argentina had marked me forever.

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E-mail: dianaraz@argentores.org.ar                                                                                                                                         This place was ARGENTORES gived