30. November 2020

Eugenio Barba: Hope and Incomprensibility

A reflection while 2020 is disappearing

Without hope we cannot live. Hope can be a strength or a burden. It can fuel mediocre illusions or harmful and fierce beliefs.  

One of the most refined totalitarianisms of our time, is the obligation to clarity, the disdain for the state of “I do not understand”, the devaluation of the feeling of incomprehension whose secret effects prompt decisive choices in our life.

We assume that theatre has above all the aim of communicating. This is true up to a point. For me its primary aim consists in creating relationships and conditions of intensified life. For whom? For the spectator, for the actor?

Among the many repercussions which attract me to the theatre, is the moment when a bizarre question suddenly emerges: what other reality is hidden behind that which seems totally clear to us?  Is clarity a form of blindness, manipulation or censorship? The cult of clarity, which served to enlighten minds, serves today also to darken them.

But without hope we cannot live. Hope is the expression of our strength that, thanks to theatre, still dares to fall in love with reality.