transFORMAS is a non-profit cultural association that takes care of theater training since 2004 led to collective facing difficulties in Barcelona, Europe and Latin America. transFORMAS takes part in different European projects and became an associate member EUROsociAL sending experts to develop training around theater and artistic creation in prisons in Argentina, Paraguay, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Colombia. transFORMAS leads various projects of European cooperation around the creation and the artistic production in prison with France, Italy, Germany, Slovakia, Romania, Norway and co-organizes seminaries and international public cultural events in association with EUROSOCIAL in Argentina, Paraguay, Colombia, Salvador and Costa Rica (2007-2010), as well as during the programming of European Capitals of Culture: Essen 2010, Marseille and Kosice on 2013.
The association focuses its research on the relationship between the performing arts and social transformation by placing people at the center of its actions and allows a significant impact on the community. transFORMAS performs artistic productions with “different” people and territories. We think beyond the usual cultural production and exhibition places, there are “other” places where theater productions are possible in order to expand the sector possibilities and the role of public spaces. There are also “other actors” and “other expression forms”, collecting terminology used by UNESCO about the “diversity of cultural expressions” and we claim a scan of them linked to a process of artistic creation of excellence.
transFORMAS bases its actions on three axes: the systematization of methods, visibility and transmission. The challenge is to develop projects and productions based on artistic quality, impact assessment and formative processes.
In order to achieve these goals, we always connect artistic production with a process that allows us to actively approach to the language and ways of living of the people we work with and train them (or train us) in the necessary skills. Our ten years of history have allowed us to evolve and discursively create a model of sustainability and viability for community theater projects in Catalonia. This involves the creation of bi-or triennial strategic plans where all projects of the association are inserted.
One of the strengths of TRANSformas is our ability to be involved and to articulate very diverse areas and various kinds of networks. As a result, projects have micro and macro dimensions based on the person (in the center of each share), and reaches the polis (community and politics).
For more than 5 years TransFORMAS has developed several artistic and educational activities related to audiovisual language: audiovisual trainings (film editing and film language) and different film productions (as FRONTERA feature film), mainly located in Penitentiary Centre Quatre Camins. Some of these activities take part of European projects.
Interest for archive materials
transFORMAS supports his work mainly in theater, although there has always been an openness and willingness to integrate and experiment with other languages. The first approach to the audiovisual language occurs in the framework of European projects in which the company was involved from the beginning. This project integrated filmmakers as partners.
Training exchanges with partners allowed us to see how interesting and motivating it was for the participants to experiment with images. Although images are so present in our daily lives, there is great ignorance about the issues associated with the production and technical process and also about the meaning of the image.
In prison settings, this became even more pressing since in technology and image era, inmates received almost only images from television.
We approached fiction from a European project of video letters, a short film and a feature film.
In parallel, we have been proposed by the entity Lieux Fictifs to share their experience with INA and thus the first European project in which we worked directly with audiovisual archive began. In this first phase we venture into archive possibilities to build narratives, stories that connect our point of view and society’s one. Since then it has been a joint effort (shared writing) because our participants write stories with archives based on the expertise of professionals who accompanied them in audiovisual editing.In this phase we were able to meet our own territory files, specifically in this case CIMIR amateur possessed files, upcoming stories concerning our culture.
In this phase we were able to find our own local archives, specifically in this case CIMIR, containing amateur archival footage: stories concerning our culture. Our way of working brings together all the elements in which we have worked all the year to the final show so we have done with archives with our latest theatre plays. Thus we increased the opportunities of this resource and begin to wonder how to use it in performing arts.
Our way of working is to always carry all the elements that we will find along the final show of the year and begin to incorporate the files in the plays we created over the years. Suddenly we amplify their odds of this resource and begin to ask questions about its use in the context of performing arts.
This new project deepens our relationship with image archives with the opportunity to use amateur, television or cinema files and allows us a broad framework of research about footage role in our drama writing: an excuse from which start, a character in the play, a context, the scenery….