Who are we
The La Xixa Teatre Association is a non-profit organization, founded in 2010 with the aim of researching, developing and multiplying educational and theatrical tools as a means for social transformation. We believe that lifelong learning is the key to moving towards a world with equal opportunities. To do this, we focus on working on the following topics, often in an intertwined way:
Intercultural communication, social inclusion and the fight against racism, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination (ie on grounds of social class, age, health, etc.) from an intersectional perspective;
Policies of gender equity and sexual diversity;
Culture of peace and coexistence, active citizenship, civic engagement and local development;
Inclusive cultural heritage;
School education, school dropout and prevention of risky behaviors among young people;
The mission of the Xixa is to facilitate the creation of spaces of empowerment through Participatory Methodologies, Process Oriented Psychology and the Theater of the Oppressed to generate processes of individual and collective transformation in contexts of social vulnerability. Participatory Methodologies allow a group with diverse interests to play a leading role in the analysis of their own reality and in the decision-making that affects them. Process Oriented Psychology focuses on the development of a state of consciousness; that is, it helps people and groups become aware of how they perceive and live their experiences, and gives them tools to learn to change their approach. The Teatre de l'Oprimit puts theater at the service of education and collective empowerment. We carry out workshops for various groups, training of trainers and artistic actions on a local and international scale. We are a multidisciplinary and multicultural group of collaborators, trained in the field of social sciences, pedagogy and the arts. The diversity of our team enriches our social and creative work, and keeps us in constant learning.
Meritxell Martinez Bellafont
Certified facilitator in Process Oriented Psychology, expert in participatory Community Development processes, in Theater of the Oppressed and in Intercultural Forum Theater. Degree in Social Education and Economics. Co-director and co-founder of the La Xixa Association, where she works as a facilitator of individual accompaniments, facilitator of groups, trainer, Curinga and performs management and coordination tasks for more than 25 local, national and international projects.
I am a seeker and an experimenter committed to life. Over the years, I have experienced Diversity in different dimensions in myself. The personal myth that accompanies me is "Jumping the ditch", the dream that has haunted me throughout my life in which I wake up just when I'm in the air ... jumping, not knowing if I'll reach the other side. From a very young age, I became friends with theater, psychology, education, and other tools that help me in my self-knowledge and commitment to my ideals, giving me the impetus to jump. I have applied these tools and themes to different formats, schools and teachers. I am Argentine (from Mendoza) and I live in the magnificent city of Barcelona, in Catalonia. Over the years I have become an “Expert” in the Theater Method of the Oppressed by Augusto Boal, a “Committed Student” of Arnold Mindell’s Process Work and a “Restless Worker” for equal rights and opportunities. I am dedicated to accompanying citizen discussion groups based on the principles of “Deep Democracy” and I am dedicated to accompanying people in the search for their path.
Dreamy, traveler and passionate about non-formal education, she has a degree in International Relations and has completed her postgraduate degree in International Organizations and Human Rights between Italy and the United States. She has lived in Italy (her native land), the United States and England, before arriving in Barcelona, where she carried out a long-term European Voluntary Service project and has worked as a monitor of leisure activities. children and youth, Project Manager and trainer in human rights and interculturality at various NGOs. He currently works as a Project Manager for European projects at the La Xixa Teatre Association.
Ana Fernández-Aballí Altamirano
PhD in Social Communication (Pompeu Fabra University, 2016). Graduated in Economics (University of Salamanca, 2009) and obtained a Master’s Degree in Communication and Design (Elisava School of Engineering and Design, 2010). She specializes in online/offline participatory communication, intercultural communication and advertising and public relations for the social third sector. She has worked as university teacher and researcher, as well as communication coordinator for various organizations and projects at local, national and international level. She currently works with La Xixa Teatre as a research and European project coordinator, and as Theatre of the Oppressed facilitator. She has published book chapters and articles in highly indexed academic journals. She is currently doing her postdoctoral research at the Complutense University of Madrid.
Certified as a community mediator, with studies in political science, international relations and human rights. Always looking for more sustainable ways to live and act. Curious about handmade things and the use of food and resources. Convinced of the need to act locally in order to generate a more global impact. Part of the technical team of La Xixa Teatre as a Project Manager of European projects.
Maria José Silva Olivera
Majo de las Nieves (Montevideo-Uruguay 1979) is an actress, candombe dancer, creator and human rights activist belonging to the Afro-Uruguayan diaspora based in the city of Barcelona. She began her training as an artist in theater workshops in aged 10 at the school he attended with Elena Brancatti, from that moment he knew that would be his passion, when he came of age he began his training at the art school dramatic Italy Fausta (Uruguay) which alternates with clown and pantomime workshops at the Tritón Cultural Center (Uruguay). Works in his country in various children's plays, music videos, advertising dubbing, private events and carnival streets. Participates in Barcelona in various social theater groups, such as Projecta, Les insolitaes and in various streets in Castelldefels, Palau solità and plegamás. After training as a leisure director and forum theater facilitator, she currently works at La Xixa teatre as a facilitator for the group Noves Mirades de Sarrià-Sant Gervasi and as an actress in the XiXalab; also as a show creator and candombe dancer with the Entretambores group.
Graduated in modern literature (University of Bologna), he has worked extensively in the field of education, both with young people and adults. He is passionate about stories, folklore and theater in its various forms (physical theatre, street theatre, figure theatre, clowns, improvisation). For years he has been studying the relationship between theater and education and the pedagogical potential of performing arts and movement. He moved to Barcelona in 2020 to study social theater techniques and methodologies. During these years he studied a master's degree in writing and management of European projects and dedicated himself to this activity as a freelancer. Since 2022, he has been working at La Xixa as a Junior Project Manager.
With a particular interest in the arts, especially those that seek to generate transformation and raise awareness, she holds a degree in Sociology from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Lover of photography, urban art, theater and music, always with a predisposition to continue learning and take an interest in social reality, from a reflective, curious and critical perspective. For years she has been a volunteer in the world of leisure, as an educator of children and young people, making them protagonists in their development so that they become active, aware and committed people to society. Currently, he works as Project Manager of European projects at La Xixa Teatre.
Ariana Solanes Rivera
Multidisciplinary plastic artist, artistic educator and cultural mediator. She has a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona and a Master of Arts Education in Social and Cultural Institutions from the Complutense University of Madrid. She is currently carrying out a doctoral project in Art and Education at the UB, focused on investigating the socio-cultural framework of non-urban areas of the Pyrenees of Lleida, where she is from.
Currently, she is part of La Xixa's communication team, being also the association's Cultural Manager.
Feminist. comic, graphic novels and literature lover. She loves cats, dancing and enjoying a beautiful sunset from the top of a mountain.
Degree in Criminology from the University of Barcelona and current student of Psychology at the Open University of Catalonia. He completed the master's degree in International Cooperation, Development and Community Action at the Ramon Llull University and his final thesis focuses on improving the psychological programs for the existing migration processes in the Catalan territory. She has worked as a monitor of children and youth free time activities and has been a social educator in a center for minors in Barcelona. This 2022 has been in the coordination team and has also participated in the training of Intersectional Forum Theater Facilitators with La Xixa Teatre. Currently, he is part of the European and local project team.
Actress, Cultural Manager, Artistic Mediator and Facilitator in intersectional Forum Theatre. He has specialized studies in Cultural Programming and Audience Training. With experience in interpretation, pedagogy, production and execution of educational and socio-cultural projects.
Chilean, feminist, migrant, passionate. Convinced and obstinate with the idea of living in a fairer world.
Currently in charge of the local activities coordination of La Xixa Teatre and co-director of the company La XixaLAB.
Actress and Artistic Mediator from Santiago de Chile. Passionate about social theater and collaborative work, she has specialized in Theater and Education, and has trained as a Facilitator of Intersection Forum Theater with La Xixa Teatre and in Latin American Feminist Artivism at Escuela Otra Tierra. She has worked as a dubbing actress, theater director and facilitator. Co-founder of Cultural Motor de Búsqueda (Chile), an organization that promotes the integral development of childhood and adolescence, based on the approach of rights and the perspective of genders; through theater and artistic mediation. Currently, form part of the technical team of La Xixa Teatre as Project Manager of European projects.
The Xixa Teatre works from the union of three methodologies: the Theater of the Oppressed (TO), Process Work, and Popular Education and Participatory Research-Action (IAP). These three methodologies have elements in common (they are critical insofar as they question power relations, they are participatory, they offer frameworks for knowledge creation, they work from processes of cyclical awareness and they are oriented towards social transformation). in favor of a fairer world). In turn, these three methodologies offer diverse tools that complement each other. Below we outline the three methods.
Main referent: Arnold and Amy Mindell
Process Work (TP) or Process Oriented Psychology (POP) offers a model that integrates and uses contributions from various disciplines to facilitate transformation and growth both individually and collectively. Its methodology is applied in different areas: community and organizational development, training in diversity and leadership, individual and family psychotherapy, relationship consulting and group facilitation.
Process Work basically focuses on developing a state of consciousness; that is, helping people and groups realize how they perceive and live their experiences, learning to change their approach, and discovering information that they do not notice or marginalize, and that limits their ability to respond. Much of the information we need to transform and grow is not perceived because it is a challenge to our ordinary consciousness. Without realizing it, we marginalize certain aspects - which we call subjective - of our daily experience: emotions, desires, dreams, intuitions, fantasies, moods, etc., because they conflict with our basic belief system or with the dominant culture to which we belong. Therefore, we do not allow ourselves to hear or talk about experiences that are outside the scope of our ordinary consciousness and to be able to perceive signals and information of a non-ordinary reality. Fortunately, what we marginalize does not disappear, it only takes different paths to manifest and be taken into account, either on a personal or collective level. Information — like energy — is not created or lost, only transformed; it usually takes the form of something that does not attract or disturb us. Body symptoms and illnesses, addictive tendencies and addictions, impossible dreams or desires, sudden accidents, relationship problems, changing or difficult moods, group conflicts, global tensions, and so on. they have a “why” even if their meaning or value is not initially understandable. TP consists of, on the one hand, cognitive learning (theories, methods and structures) and, at the same time, requires deep internal work and a "spiritual" attitude that allows us to take advantage of even the worst problems and situations. polarized as opportunities to awaken people’s great gifts. TP teaches us to connect with our deepest being and learn to flow creatively in the midst of extreme circumstances.
Text taken from here.
The Theater of the Oppressed, developed in the 1970s by Brazilian playwright Augusto Boal, has been one of the main tools for participatory communication and for Latin American popular education movements. Unlike many aspects of social theater, the Theater of the Oppressed (TO) is a political theater. It is a collective essay of emancipation. Based on the epistemology of the Pedagogy of the Oppressed, the TO allows us to analyze through theater the abuses of power perpetrated and perpetuated in a systemic way in our daily micro-structures. This methodology consists of several tools: Image Theater, Forum Theater, Legislative Theater, The Rainbow of Desire, Invisible Theater and Journalistic Theater. The TO uses theatrical games to de-mechanize our perceptions, making us aware of our cultural filters by making explicit and collectivizing our own conflicts and experiences. The collectivization of individual problems, and subsequent extrapolation to a group history, allows us to look for collective alternatives to situations that are often difficult to solve from an individual position.
The Forum Theater is the main tool of the methodology. At the Forum Theater, actors and actresses develop a short play based on the collectivization of the actors 'and actresses' own experiences, or act-activists. This piece is mainly composed of several characterizations: the oppressed, the oppressor, the allies and the Curinga. The Curinga is the character who interacts with the audience, that is, with the spectators. The postulate of the piece is that the oppressed always has the capacity to act to confront the oppressor. In the moment of greatest conflict, the Joker or Curinga stops the piece. Through open dialogue by the public, alternatives are proposed to try to resolve the conflict on stage. The Curinga then invites the spectator to replace one of the characters on stage. As many alternatives are tried as proposals emerge.
Text taken from here .
Main referent: Paulo Freire
Popular education is a philosophy and pedagogy based on the concept of liberalizing education of Paulo Freire in which:
a) All agents are capable of teaching and learning.
b) All agents own some knowledge.
c) All agents are subject to the process and never objects of the process.
d) All agents have the same right to speak and be heard.
e) All agents have the same right to propose problems, options, contents and solutions.
Participatory action research (IAP) consolidates this way of teaching-learning into a method of knowledge creation. Popular education and the IAP analyze how, in social contexts, men and women lose their humanization through non-reflection of power situations, and therefore lose their innate capacity for transformation (Freire , 1973). The subjects involved in these processes are knowledge generators and agents of transformation simultaneously.
Popular education and IAP are based on a cycle of awareness through which we reflect-act-reflect to become culturally aware, dialogically aware, and aware of power structures.