‘A separate world within the world’ is more than a play. It is a project, from the Àmbit company, which comes to Valencia to “strengthen” social inclusion. A piece that can be seen in La Mutant and that is part of the European project Athena in which autobiographical theater is used as a tool to fight against vulnerability. Funded by the Erasmus + program and coordinated by the Valencian NGO Associació Àmbit, the work is the idea of Domingo Ferrandis.
The piece, according to its author, represents a dystopian world within the society of discrimination and exclusion where the characters live without being able to leave it and with the sole purpose of survival. “We fictionalize schizophrenia, prison, drugs … everything that causes rejection and aversion,” he explains. An autobiographical play in which mental health is very important about which, in general, there is great ignorance. “Being an ex-prisoner with mental health problems carries a double stigma. Some also suffer from dual pathology -addiction and disorder-, others do not have the support of a family and live on the streets. Many have been given a cruel label and live on the sidelines in marginalization and need accompaniment in insertion. Thus, the piece revisits the past and resignifies it to cover it with a metaphor. Living with a disorder, rejection and reintegration are seldom visible. For them there is only silence, anguish and a loneliness that pushes them to suicide, drugs or abandonment. This stage piece is a story of overcoming, a story of love », relates the playwright.
Thus, between September 26 and 30, both the associations and vulnerable groups that make up the project – from Germany, Lithuania, Greece, Italy and Slovenia – will meet in Valencia so that Ferrandis can convey to them the particularities of its methodology. Once here they will develop various activities that will allow them to transform their life stories into a theatrical piece and then perform it in their place of origin. A key point of this visit will be to attend the performance of the piece ‘A separate world within the world’.
Atenea is based on the autobiographical theater methodology developed by the Valencian Domingo Ferrandis, who, in collaboration with Àmbit, developed this technique together with beneficiaries of the association.