Monday, May 4, 2009

Farewell, Augusto Boal

In loving memory of Augusto Boal, 1931-2009

Rio de Janerio, May 4, 2009:

Brothers and sisters in arms, companions in the struggle

Our beloved comrade Augusto Boal, that tireless sower of seeds, who travelled the four corners of the earth scattering the seed of the Theatre of the Oppressed, is on yet another journey. He set off in the early hours of the second of May. He spent the First of May, May day, in a vigil of solidarity with the workers fighting for a fairer and happier world, a world of solidarity.

He set off on this special journey, for which reason he was not able to be physcially present at any event. But, as was his habit, he lived,, loved and worked to the last drop of his energy, leaving ready (for publication) the new version of his book, The Aesthetics of the Oppressed. He also left express instructions that no event should be cancelled because of his absence. ’Isnt that the very point of Multiplication?“

Yesterday, on the third of May, we held a farewell ceremony . His cremation of his body marked the start of a new phase of the Theatre of the Oppressed, in the physical absence of the Master himself. We wept, we talked, we sang. Celse Frateschi declaimed, beautifully, a passage from Arena Conta Zumbi. We sang a song written bz Nuno Arcanjo. And Cecilia Boal, with all her strength and vitality, told the world that her husband should be remembered as the warrior that he always was. We dried our tears and acclaimed Boal,s leaving.

His body has gone, but not his presence! Probably, this Saturday, the 9th of May, we will ratify his presence with a homage, at the Centre of the Theatre of the Oppressed. We will celebrate the life, the struggle, the productivity, the work of Augusto Boal and the continuity of that work.

It will not be easy to follow our Master, Partner, Friend and Comrade in the Struggle. But what has ever been easy in the trajectory of the Theatre of the Oppressed?

Ethics and Solidarity will be our foundations and our guides. Multiplication will be our strategy. And our goal will remain the mounting of concrete social actions to bring about the transformation of oppressive realities.

Viva Augusto Boal

Barbara Santos, 4 may 2009


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