Hector Aristizábal

Hector Aristizábal International Workshop

Hector Aristizábal International Workshop “From Action Back to Imagination”
5-7 of May, Cambridge (UK)

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This workshop invites us to look into our own experiences and awaken the wisdom in our collective psyche. In this changing world we can ground ourselves by connecting to the messages written in our life and theater is one of the most powerful ways to awaken our imagination. In this way we may be able to find antidotes to fear and despair, depression and aggression as well as inspiration for a more meaningful life.

During our workshop we will use theatre to tap into that deep well in order to awaken what has been called the inner genius or the gift that we each came to the world to give. Indigenous traditions call this inner secret the medicine, the wisdom we may gain from healing our own wounds. Our group will become a sudden village and a human laboratory as we use our own stories and interests to explore diverse methodologies which will help us imagine alternatives to our common challenges and provide opportunities for communal healing.

Hector will share his personal experience as well as what he has discovered through many years of work with communities in war-torn and post-conflict zones. In his work he combines Theater of the Oppressed, Theater of Witness, Playback Theater, The Work that Reconnects and other forms. The specific methods will arise from he group’s own dynamic but will include the exploration of personal story/myths, dream work, rainbow of desire/cops-in-the-head and the design of rituals using natural elements and body-centered work.

HECTOR ARISTIZABAL was born and grew up in Medellín, Colombia when it was the most dangerous city in the world. He survived civil war, arrest and torture. In 1989, violence and death threats forced him to leave his homeland and immigrate to the United States. He combined his training in psychology and the arts with lessons gained from life experience in his therapeutic work with torture and trauma survivors in postconflict and war areas, with incarcerated youth, immigrant families, people affected by HIV/AIDS and many more. He is a theater director, actor and practitioner of the techniques known as Theater of the Oppressed, developed by Brazilian Augusto Boal. He founded ImaginAction to help people use the transformative power of theater around the world, including Columbia, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Nepal, Ruanda, India, Palestine, Syria, etc… . During the last years Hector’s main work and interest has been on the use of Theatre, storytelling, drumming and dance in combination with psychotherapy in the creation of “modern rituals” as a way to address the needs for healing and social transformation in our communities.


For whom: This workshop is for practitioners / actors / jokers / who work with participatory theatre and similar approaches and for educators, community-organizers and activists that are looking for a creative space for the questions and issues mentioned above. Anyway – if you sign up, we believe that you will bring your own stories and challenges as a human being in the beginning of the 21 century and that you will leave with inspirations and methods for bringing arts and imagination in your communities in your specific way.
Where: Cambridge, UK – Details about the Venue will follow.
Accommodation: you can find local (youth) hostel, couchsurfing, airbnb or let us know with your registration if you would like to have a free private accommodation in one of our friend’s houses, (shared) flats.
Fee: Participation fee is £230. If this is impossible for you but you feel pulled to join us – get in contact and we will find a solution! We hope to be able to offer special scholarships for activists with low income – please get in contact with us. If you want to pay more – so others can pay less, let us know! Locations and times:


Friday 5 May

Time: 9.45 – 18.00

Venue: Ross Street Community Centre. Ross St, Cambridge CB1 3UZ Link to google maps

Saturday 6 May

Time 10.00 – 18.00

Venue: Anglia Ruskin – Cambridge Campus, East Rd, Cambridge CB1 1PT Room: TBC Link to google maps

Sunday 7 May

Time 09.00 – 17.00

Venue: Convent Garden Drama Studio. 58 Covent Garden, Cambridge CB1 2HT Link to Google maps


Read more about Hector and ImaginAction: www.imaginaction.org
Listen to Radio: How Hector Aristizabal is using theater to foster peace in his native Colombia
Watch Video: Hector Aristizábal, ‘Social Justice Theatre’ in Belfast / Northern Ireland

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