“Sowing the Future” documentary

Sowing the Future in our YouTube Channel.

We are proud to announce the release of another documentary about our work, made in 2015. It tells the story of two gardening workshops run in juvenile detention centres in Santiago: the Chilean Juvenile Service centres in San Bernardo and Calera de Tango. The documentary is a Colectivo Sustento production: directed and edited by Bárbara Fuenzalida, and filmed by Bárbara, Carolina Vera and Richard Maldonado.

These workshops were a direct result of the 2014 “Modecate” Tour. The boys in the San Bernardo centre asked us to return with a theatre workshop, but this proved difficult, so we decided to return with four months of gardening workshops. Later, we added the Calera de Tango centre to this project, where the objective was to help establish their community garden. The workshops were directed by Gabriel Jiménez, ex Fénix e Ilusiones, working with Colectivo Sustento, and our long-time volunteer and school gardens teacher Mo Stenger. As always, working as a double, we combined technical experience with the “voice of experience”. The gardening was a pretext to start a conversation with the young men and boys in the two centres, and to provoke reflection about their life choices, as well as introduce them to the beauty and practicalities of growing your own food.

This documentary was made possible by a crowdfunding campaign on the Pozible platform, with donations received from 40 friends, colleagues and family in Australia, England, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. Thanks to you all!

“Lysistrata” in 31st Entepola festival

After a break of three years, Fénix e Ilusiones and Colectivo Sustento return to the massive Entepola stage, the Pudahuel amphitheatre, with an audience of nearly 2,000 people. On the 26th January 2017, we performed “Lysistrata”, our group-devised satire about gender violence, to the Pudahuel audience as part of the programme of the 31st International Community Theatre Festival-Entepola. This presentation ended 14 months of performances, for a variety of audiences in: juvenile detention centres, community programmes for young offenders, the San Miguel women’s prison, a special performance for Latin American theatre workers at Entepola 2016, and at the “Arte Libre (Free Art)” festival organised by Gendarmería Chile in the central Santiago square, la Plaza de la Constitución, with the famous Moneda Presidential Palace as backdrop.

In the audience were many family members, colleagues and ex-Fénix e Ilusiones who had performed on that very same stage. It was the eighth time we have performed at Entepola, a festival that receives us with open arms, and ethically presents us simply as a theatre company from Chile, without mentioning the prison. It is only after the show, after the applause has died down, that the audience is told the group is from the Colina 1 prison. Our theatre is received for its theatrical strength, without sensationalism nor exoticism. Not all members of Fénix e Ilusiones were given permission to perform at Entepola, but from the stage we remembered them and sent them a huge round of applause.

Thank you to everyone who made possible this new achievement in our story.

“Sharing the Collective” documentary

Sharing the Collective in our YouTube Channel.

We are proud to announce the release of our first longish documentary, a window into Colectivo Sustento. It tells the story of two 2015 collaborations: a theatre exchange in the Colina 1 prison between Fénix & Ilusiones and Mary O’Neill and Nikki Mailer, community theatre workers from Manchester; and the building of a natural water filter in our community garden with the Women’s Bio-construction Collective (María Pinto, Chile). The documentary is a Colectivo Sustento production: directed and edited by Carolina Vera (with Rocío Huenchullán), and filmed by Carolina and Bárbara Fuenzalida.

Collaboration and reciprocity are at the heart of our work, they are key elements for us, both philosophically and ethically and support our sustainability. Whether it is in the prison theatre experience or our community garden, we seek out and develop long-term two-way relationships with like-minded organisations and individuals who also are working in resistance to the neo-liberal, competitive and individualistic system that separates us and diminishes the importance of collective endeavour.

This documentary was made possible by an injection of funds from Mary and Nikki, for which we will always be very grateful.

“Hand up!” documentary

“Hand up!” documents the collaboration between Fénix & Ilusiones, Teatro Pasmi and Acteurs de l’Ombre (Belgium) during 2010-2011. The documentary is directed by Víctor Robles and the trailer was co-produced in 2012 with Colectivo Sustento ///

Script/narration: Gabriel Jiménez
Original music: Claudio Cancino and Felipe Sanhueza

Hand up! excerpt from Victor Robles Bravo on Vimeo.

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Space of freedom

de la Carreta al Teatro from Victor Robles Bravo on Vimeo.

This mini documentary was made in 2008 by Víctor Robles with Teatro Pasmi and, although years have passed, it is still a relevant tool to explain the context of the work of Fénix & Ilusiones in the Colina 1 prison in Santiago-Chile. The prisoners themselves speak of their experiences of theatre and writing. We work from the premise that every person plays roles in their life, so why not do theatre with prisoners? There are short glimpses of the performances and the documentary ends with the presentation of “I die therefore I am” (Jorge Díaz) at the International Community Theatre Festival-ENTEPOLA 2008, in front of an audience of 3,000 people.
Director: Víctor Robles
Música original: David Barrios

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