We Are Here: Theater of Witness with Survivors of Torture

We Are Here photo

February 26th and 27th, 2013, torture survivors from Cameroon, El Salvador, Guatemala, Russia, and Uganda told their stories of surviving ordeals and rebuilding their lives in Los Angeles. They aren’t trained as actors, but they took the stage with confidence, speaking publicly for the first time thanks to the direction of Hector Aristizabal and Alessia Cartoni.

It was an honor to meet these brave men and women and put the script together from their own words captured in extensive interviews.

The project was supported with a grant from the LA Department of Cultural Affairs and with the cooperation of the Program for Torture Victims, providing healing and hope since 1980.

We had wonderful audiences both nights – first at Mercado La Paloma and then at Club Fais Do-Do – and Alexandra Chun brought flowers to each performance for audience members to carry to the stage for the impromptu shrine or to present to the cast members. Two beautiful nights with beautiful people!

Wishing much happiness to the participants: Rossana Perez, Mario Avila, Masha Choporova, Edison Bandeeba, Josephine Athieno, and Boniface Talla who was not able to perform but allowed Hector to present his story.

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