Mar 1

Discovering one’s own identity through collage in the ‘contamination’ session led by Ileana Ortega iN RESiDENCE at the Institut Josep Comas i Solà secondary school

The activity has been carried out by the last students at the educational centre, which closes its doors at the end of the school year.

When Ileana Ortega started her residence at the Institut Josep Comas i Solà secondary school, she asked the 4th-year students not to introduce themselves. In the beginning, she didn’t want to know anything about them, but rather she wanted to find out all about them gradually through their artistic expression. Over the last few months, the artist has posed several questions to them such as: “who am I?, where do I come from?, what are my likes and dislikes?, how do I see myself and how do others see me?” and the youngsters have answered these questions by producing a collage.

Thus, the ‘contamination’ session consisted of an online presentation of the story behind their identities, which the eight students have been building with words and images. Each of the young artists held the photographs and collages in their hands and showed them to the camera while explaining their story. The participants were impressed with the depth of phrases such as: “I don’t want to be from anywhere, I want to be free; if I say where I’m from I’ll be labelled and judged but I want to have the freedom to decide who I am.” The whole performance formed a mosaic of personal expressions presented to the onlookers in a very brave and generous way, as the teachers and attendees emotionally acknowledged.

Ileana Ortega explained that the aim of the entire process is for the youngsters to find their own expressive language. Based on the collage work, the students will continue to explore their identity by transforming their account through body movement as well as through the circus and the performance. In this way, various artistic languages and practices will be linked in the same creation process.

As for the group of students, they showed their satisfaction with all the work they had carried out, as they felt that they had gained a much deeper level of their own knowledge and of their classmates than they had at the beginning of the course. All this thanks to a space of emotional security based on a commitment to the group: “I will not judge myself, I will be faithful to myself, I will not judge others, I will support their needs.”

Finally, Marisa Paituví, the community mediation worker from La Central del Circ, the creation factory which is coordinating Ileana Ortega’s residence, thanked the youngsters as through their reflections and creations, they have helped them discover new ways of staging a circus.

In the project’s blog you can find out how Ileana Ortega’s creation process is going, Ileana is iN RESiDENCE at the Institut Josep Comas i Solà secondary school, through body movement, performance and the circus arts.