The second International Theater Festival for Peace will return to the central Colombian city of Barrancabermeja for nine days of collective creativity.
The festival will be held from September 15 to 23 to “amplify the vision and enrich the imagination” of artists from around the world. It looks to transform the image of Barrancabermeja, or “Barranca,” from one of oil and violence to that of creativity and construction.
The International Theater Festival for Peace was born from the idea of the infamous 1998 massacre that occurred in the region when 32 people were assassinated by paramilitaries. A couple was inspired by the city’s ability to overcome their violent past when they arrived to Barranca in 2007 and stayed after seeing the community’s resilience as they worked to keep the peace and gain better educational opportunities for children
Associate of the festival, Diane Lefer, told Colombia Reports that the first festival of this kind which occurred last year proved to be a great success as hundreds of national and international artists arrived to the city of 200,000 people, which up until last year didn’t even have a movie theater open to the public let alone a stage for live performance.
The second annual festival this year will have free admission to 41 programs of theater, modern dance, and music originating from Colombia and 19 other countries. Each group will also offer a free participatory workshop.
Lefer and other associates of the festival believe in its, “vision that creativity can reweave torn social fabric and heal individuals.”
With increased support from sponsors, travel expenses will even be covered for international artists traveling to perform at the festival.