TIM ROBBINS VISITS JOAN JARA
Tim Robbins , is an Oscar-winning American actor and director. It is the first thing that is read in the brief description that appears in wikipedia. While these signs are worthy of emphasis, Tim Robbins is much more than that, he is undoubtedly a conscious and critical artist of his time and living space. He has directed several films in which this critical reflection is expressed, such as Hombre Muerto Caminando, starring his ex-wife Susan Sarandon and his friend Sean Pean, and for which he was nominated for an Oscar as best director. And in the company of these friends and actors he also stood out as a strong opponent of the international policies installed by George Bush. He has continued his work exposing his critical view of these policies especially through his work as a theater director. He founded the company The Actors’ Gang in 1981 .He has worked continuously since then, receiving the collaboration of great actors and actresses, including John Cusack and Helen Hunt. Perhaps one of the most relevant aspects of their work is that they do theater workshops for students, people at social risk and prisoners in 12 prisons in California. At least once a week they perform free functions for the public that always wants to see them and for resources they can not.
The work that brought him to Chile is called The New Colossus and deals with the pressing issue of immigration and the refugee crisis. Although the work was created by the humanitarian crisis in Syria, it has become even more effective due to the immigration policies imposed by Donald Trump. Without going too far, racism and xenophobia touch us closely as a society that still does not resolve its contradictions in terms of cultural and social identity. In the play, 12 actors personify real stories of immigrants and refugees, their longings, frustrations, efforts and pains. An important detail is that each of the actors tells the story of their own father, mother, grandfather or grandmother, brother or sister, the actors are part of the story they represent. At the end of each presentation Tim Robbins engages in a direct dialogue with the audience.
VISIT JOAN AND THE FOUNDATION.
Arriving in Chile, Tim Robbins looked for the contact that would take him to meet with Joan Jara, whom he did not know personally and whom he had only heard and read in many ways. Among the presentations of the work he directs, this meeting took place in our Foundation House on Wednesday, January 16 last. The meeting was warm and very conversational. Also present were Amanda and Manuela daughters of Joan. It was a special moment. As if Tim and Joan were old friends, everything was discussed. The situation in the United States with the harsh immigration policies of Donald Trump. There was talk about the music of Víctor Jara, being himself a musician, as well as his own father Gil Robbins. There was also talk of Victor Jara as theater director, sharing there the experiences that Robbins has collected in his theatrical work. Information was also shared with him about the different judicial processes that have sought to do justice for Víctor Jara. Robbins expressed his interest in staying informed about this and collaborating in what he could to spread the truth and demand justice for Víctor.
Regarding the work he was presenting in Chile on migration and refugees, he said that at the end of each session there is a direct conversation with the audience. He also said that here in Chile he had asked the public some questions: First, I asked that those who were immigrants raise their hands. A person raised his hand. Then I asked that those who were the children of immigrants raise their hands. There several people raised their hands. Finally, I asked that those who were grandchildren or granddaughters of immigrants raise their hands. There were few hands that were left below. Everywhere in the world almost all of us are immigrants, that makes us think about what we really are as a society.
For more than two hours the conversation turned and varied to various topics, always with humor and friendship. The desire of Tim Robbins to express his solidarity with Joan and his daughters, his respect and admiration for the work and personality of Víctor Jara was strongly felt.
Tim Robbins received our gratitude for his solidary visit by giving him Victor’s records. After many photographs, jokes and laughter, Tim Robbins left as he arrived, with the simplicity and kindness of those who approach with respect those who seek to really know.