Where are they now? Alumna Ana Barona
Ana joined Tribe 11 of Knowmads in the spring of 2015. She’s not too tall but speaks passionately big. And being from Madrid, she also speaks faster than her shadow.
One of the key learnings at Knowmads was her love for communication and social transformation. She found theatre as the best way to stretch communication and work towards social transformation. What really appealed to her was the way of expression through body work; the use of tools from the theatre world for facilitating creative processes and conversations.
She found a space for it. Quite literally, she found PLEK (plek means location in Dutch). In November 2015, she started working for Stichting PLEK. She started training, going to social theater festivals and finding places to practice. A lot!
Through working with it more and more, she realises why she likes it so much. PLEK uses Participatory Theatre as their main method. For them, theatre is a pedagogical process and serves as a mirror to enable individuals and communities to reflect on their challenges, analyse their realities and search for perspectives to overcome undesirable situations. More importantly, their method goes beyond theatre, it aims to provoke social, concrete and continuous actions in real life. In short, they offer life-changing theatre. Furthermore, their audience is actively and directly involved in the creative process and they become co-authors, editors, and observers of their own work.
The method brings hope. Hope that growth and dialogue is possible. They create a safe “plek” that allows for dreaming. In regular settings, it’s so hard to think differently and to let the pressures of society go. By changing it up, it’s possible to see that who you are is interesting and the rest is bullshit.
Right now, she focuses on marketing and communication at PLEK. With PLEK, they have big plans for 2017. They’re organising 2 forum theatre projects (1 with locals & refugees and 1 with women), are continuing with the Amsterdam’s Theater Group, offer Theater Training, and work for organisations, NGOs and local government.
For Ana, Knowmads was also a type of ‘plek’: a space for exploration. It allowed her to explore what she was drawn to. Being in this network with people with the same type of mindset (ahem, bubble), allowed to explore these places that she initially wouldn’t have thought were for her.
Also, it showed her that you can dream big and that you can reach big goals with a clear action plan. Lastly, she learned her role within the team. She needs a solid team and being at peace with her role makes working together so much easier.