Presentation of the 2023-2024 season
Memory, an invincible change
Emilio Lledó says that if we look at the extensive studies on Plato, we will see that we have forgotten that we continue to ask ourselves the same questions as him: how should we live? Why should we think? How can we link ideas to reality? What is feeling? What is love? How can language communicate what we call "the truth"? Can education improve people? Does the word "happiness" make sense?
Thinking involves recognising similarities. We often relate something already experienced to what we are experiencing now or find commonalities between things that are happening at the same time. Because people flow through time, we are forged in the crucible of history and, hence, memory is fundamental for us.
So, recovering memory is essential for Humanity because we are what we have been, whether we like it or not. As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry says, perhaps we can no longer go back and change the past, but what we can do is start right here and now and change the future; change it in a significant way.
Defenders of non-memory are defenders of the death of History, of the death of life, of the death of society, of the death of education, of the death of everything. Perhaps those who defend non-memory want to justify any foul act of the present in the hope that it will never be remembered.
Education and culture should be a mental liberation and, as such, they work. We live in difficult times in terms of values, in terms of communication, in terms of the use of social media, and in terms of the use of words. We have made a revolution, of women, as yet unfinished. We were able to demolish the wall that divided Europe into two. But, what are we doing now? We are experiencing a frontal attack on thought with this ruthless, unbridled capitalism that promotes "what we feel", "how we feel", "what we think". As the philosopher Joan-Carles Mèlich says: "opinion displaces knowledge". Today everyone has an opinion on everything with no room for uncertainty. And knowing implies uncertainty.
Wisdom always brings uncertainty.
Our 2023-2024 season is dedicated to Memory. Now that the forces of evil have caused another war in Europe as if such madness had never happened, we in the theatre reclaim memory. In the decisive moments of history, we have turned our gaze to philosophers and artists, to people who were able to speak of another truth and open our eyes to other worlds and who served as guides when we found ourselves overwhelmed, confused, and powerless before the suffering of the world. And this is what we want to do this season: bring to our stages plays and artists to help us understand who we are and see and understand where we come from. Because they will show us other realities that we do not know but are linked to ours by invisible threads because we are human beings, because we share the dream of changing the future; and because, in the end, all of us, in any corner of the planet, have had at some time the feeling of witnessing the end of our world. Or, at least, of the world we know.
Our stages will tell us about the time of promises of the Second Republic, the terrible and devastating experience of the Civil War and the decades of fear and silence imposed by the Franco regime: the submission of a dark era in which religion and social classes were the key to human relationships. Hypocrisy, monsters that are not what they seem... This journey will open our eyes in terms of what we are and what we have experienced, in terms of consequences so deep-rooted that, at times, we would say that they have become generic.
Lack of memory is a moral crime and a historical crime.
All of our artists will abduct us to immerse us in some lucid, highly poetic, texts that speak of a society kidnapped by its asymmetry: introspective journeys, young people and the consumption of pornography, interviews with women who are the exact reflection of our contradictory and almost dystopian society, the war in the Balkans (which at that time we thought would be the last European war), a reflection and omen of the past and future history of this unfortunate and forgetful continent, the family and its difficult relationships, concerns linked to the young, and dreams, above all, many dreams.
The TNC will be the door to the world, to Europe and the Catalan-speaking territories with which we twin to share the same language and the same culture. And also with Lebanon and Iran, with artists who fight every day to be able to practise their art despite censorship and the impoverishment of their country; with highly diverse artists and disciplines, a portrait of our cities today. Because we want to share this richness and commitment with the Catalan audience, with all of you.
In the fight between you and the world, defend the world. The world existed before us and will continue to exist after.
Virginia Woolf said: “I have no inner life.” She said that it was not necessary to hide, that it was necessary to go out into the world. We are nothing more than relationships, links..., past, present and future; we need to make contact with others and with things. If we want to find ourselves, we must go out into the world. And if we have the ability to see beyond our eyes, we will find compassion, empathy, a sense of solidarity, social values, and the public in the face of privatising individualism that has confused opinion with truth and prevents us from seeing that all people are equal and have the same rights.
The aggressor would not be so powerful if he did not have accomplices among the victims.
Our body is a porous body from a biological point of view, but it is also porous from an existential point of view. Two years after the lockdown, we have learned that we cannot live without culture. And, furthermore, without culture any manipulation is possible. It is our future: we can become robots or go even deeper into our soul. We people humanise ourselves with words. From the mother tongue to far beyond. That is why dialogue is fundamental, the fact of communicating through words in the face of so much lack of communication, so much toxicity and so many lies, so much distortion of the words.
I am tired – said the philosopher − of thinking about words such as good or justice; teach me once and for all to put them into practice.
Theatre is the place of resistance against the loneliness of screens. Theatre is the meeting place par excellence, one of the oldest conventions that we invented during Greek democracy to heal ourselves. It is therapy. How else would it bring about the catharsis of the audience? Theatre makes us hopeful. Theatre is a democratic place par excellence. And here we are waiting for you, to share with all of you these moments of emotion, those stories we need to stay afloat. And, above all, we thank you for your trust, your loyalty and your closeness.
In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
Thank you, and enjoy the season!
Carme Portaceli i Roig
Artistic Director of the TNC