"My experience working in the prison in Colombia inspired me to write a full-length play about the FARC from the perspective of female fighters."
Guerrillera is about the women who fought in the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). We will be exploring their daily existence in the jungle including their rigorous training and experience of combat. But we’ll also focus on the opportunities the FARC gives them such as getting an education, and forming close knit life long relationships with their comrades.
How did this idea come about?
In 2018, I worked for several months at the Buen Pastor women’s prison in Bogota, Colombia. I facilitated creative writing workshops and character development work with four female offenders for six weeks. With the material from our improvisations, I wrote Más Allá de un Sueño (Further Away Than A Dream) which explored a woman’s experience in the FARC, how unemployment led one woman to prostitution and a displaced family's painful decision to move to Bogota.
The play launched the Festival Carcelario, an annual theatre festival involving eight prisons from across the country. The play and the festival received widespread attention from the Colombian press.
Why is it important to talk about?
The FARC has been involved in one of the world’s longest running civil wars. We believe that these stories which have shaped Colombia's recent history need to be shared, told and heard. Latin America is a part of the world which is often overlooked in Britain, but it is filled with rich narratives of global significance and we want to tap into those stories.
Why female fighters?
War is traditionally seen through men’s eyes, it is considered a masculine domain. Yet Colombian women have played a crucial role in this conflict - not just as victims but also as soldiers. A third of the combatants of the FARC were women, they shared the same duties, carried the same equipment, underwent the same rigorous training, fought – and sometimes paid with their lives.
Writer- Alex Kampfner
Alex trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, graduating in 2016. Shortly after, she travelled to Latin America where she began facilitating workshops in women’s refuges, youth centres and prisons. She speaks fluent Spanish and French and has found it invigorating to make work in different languages, as it deepens her understanding of the specific culture she’s working in.
Most recently, Alex directed an R&D for About Money by Eliza Gearty (alumna of the Soho Theatre Young Company) which was presented at the Southwark Playhouse in June 2019. Other credits include Mas Alla De Un Sueno, (Acción Interna, Festival Carcelario 2018), Romeo and Juliet (Acción Interna, El Buen Pastor, Bogota 2017), That F***ing F Word (RCS, The Arches, and Encounter Festival, Brno, Czech Republic 2016)
Actor- Daniela Cristo Mantilla
Daniela is a Colombian actor and deviser who trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She was recently a resident artist at CASA Festival 2019 at the Arcola Theatre, where she developed her one woman show The Power Goes Off and performed an extract of it as part of the festival. Other credits include Complemento (Out of the Wings 2019) Spider Girls R&D (Head for Heights Theatre 2019) and A Fantastic Bohemian Opera (Grimeborn 2018).
Actor- Mariana Aristizabal
Mariana is a performer and director. She trained as an actor at the UDFC of Arts in Bogota, Colombia, and at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London. Acting credits include Variette Libertad (Colombia) and Cansancio Tears (Brink Festival, Performance Philosophy Biennale). She recently performed in The Last Rehearsal at the Brighton Fringe Festival. Mariana was assistant director for Thebes Land at The Arcola Theatre and director of I Occur Here, part of CASA Festival at The Southwark Playhouse. She is currently commissioned by Popelei to develop a show with her company Malena & Mariana Theatre.
Where will the funding go?
The funding will go towards the two weeks of rehearsal and organising a closed showing which will happen at the end of the process. We will use the time to delve into researching and improvising scenes from the script. Any contributions will provide a platform for Guerrillera to gain audience feedback from the public and industry professionals. We are currently in discussion with local and international media, NGOs, academics and other specialists to help us with the research of this play.
We also need to hire a rehearsal space to develop the characters and the narrative. A dedicated space will ensure we make the best use of the two weeks we have to develop a high-quality production. Having an adequate budget means we can ensure that the whole creative team is fairly compensated for taking part in this production.
Why your support is important and what it means to us
We do not currently have the money to independently produce this show.
However, we believe it is a vital story which deserves to be heard.
Your contribution is integral to ensuring that we make this play a reality.
Risks and challenges
We are in the first stages of producing Guerrillera, and the biggest risk is that we do not meet our target and do not have sufficient funds to complete the R&D. We will make every effort to avoid this and will assess our budget at every stage. We will also continue to look and apply for funding from different organisations and companies.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)