Humor y Vida

South America, Ecuador
Art discipline: Theater
Participated in ICAF in: 2020
http://www.corporacionhumoryvida.com

Corporación Humor y Vida [‘humor and life’] is composed of women artists from Ecuador and Colombia. They work on the contested borderlands between their two countries, an area frequently used for illegal crossings, also by guerrilla fighters. Humor y Vida will first conduct a workshop in which they interactively share their community work and arts education activities in the borderlands between Colombia and Ecuador. 

In the second part of their intervention at ICAF, Humor y Vida will perform Nacer/Birth. Because of the colonial past and prejudices about indigenous culture, many in these two countries regard homebirth as primitive. As a result, Ecuador has the highest number of caesarian deliveries in the Americas, which have become lucrative activities for hospitals. The script of this performance is based on personal testimonies and is presented with the use of puppetry, video and dance. Humor is used as a way to address the painful and long battle between ideologies and between westernised and indigenous populations. In Nacer, childbirth (home delivery) is humanized thanks to the ancestral knowledge of midwives of the Imbabura region (province of Ecuador). 

This project is a co-production between Humor y Vida and the Dutch organization Theater Embassy. Apart from ICAF, Nacer wil also be performed at Plein Theater in Amsterdam, whom we gratefully acknowledge as our co-producer for this event.

Sinopsis: Synopsis: Three women enter the feminine universe, reliving the ancestral wisdom of our grandmothers and the accelerations of modern times that mechanise life and disconnects the body and its capacity to give natural birth. 

In Nacer time and space come together, as well as pleasure and pain and life and death. Through the poetics of images and new the performing arts idioms we approach the wise women who still possess ancestral knowledge about pregnancy and who are the custodians of natural childbirth.

 

About the work:
Nacer is a staging of humanized childbirth through the wisdom of ancestral knowledge of midwives of the Imbabura region (province of Ecuador). It won funding for its production through a competition administered by the Ecuadoran Ministry of Culture in 2015. It was created in a coproduction with the Dutch Company Theatre Embassy. 

The performance is a mix of experimental theatre and new performance technologies in which ritual, praxis, different generations, time, space, and ancestral knowledge come together, but also the gaze from the Andes and western perspectives. Center stage are the women’s universo and a sensitive subject like maternity and its link with holistic health. In Nacer different artistic languages converge, ranging from dramatic theatre to post-dramatic, including poetry, photography, new media, dance, music, as well as a productive confrontation and fusión between the different perspectives and resources of Latinamerican and European artists. 

Nacer explores the borders and crossovers between the worlds of indigenous and mestiza women by addressing oral narratives, feminist dramaturgy, personal stories and other imaginaries and forms of expression emerging from communities. In that sense it is also a search for new collective and individual forms of theatrical creation. 

We, white mestiza Latina women, regard this performing arts piece as a window opening to the Andean universe from a female point of view. In particular, this window is informed by the practice of natural births and natural healing, which is to say by women’s bodies and natural medicine. The ultimate aim is to make visible and thereby resignify the role of women and of motherhood in the construction of community.

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