Ana María Martínez Sagi, Dulce María Loynaz and Concha Méndez are the leading voices in the new season of Cartas Vivas
· Fundación Banco Santander in collaboration with the University of Exeter continues to bring 20th century women thinkers and writers to the screen, the classroom and, as a novelty this year, to the stage, through their testimonies.
· This new season of Cartas Vivas will be available on the website from 14 December.
· The actresses Teresa del Olmo, Leila Arias and Adela Leiro have been chosen to give life to the authors who are the protagonists of these new audiovisual clips.
Madrid, 14 December 2022 - PRESS RELEASE
Fundación Banco Santander, committed to literary rescue, and the University of Exeter, a leader in Hispanic studies research, continue their collaboration in an exemplary synergy. Together with the Cervantes Theatre, a new member of the team, the only Spanish theatre in the UK, honour the global dimension of hispanism and the international character of this Anglo-Spanish project that has at its centre voices from history, remnants of women's memory collected in a free online audiovisual testimonial library and in theatrical productions. In both the Audiovisual CartasVivas as in the theatrical CartasVivas, the archive and the research take on a life of their own.
Introducing three new series of audiovisual Cartasvivas directed by Nuria Capdevila-Argüelles, regarding the poet and journalist Ana María Martínez Sagi (1907-2000), with a strong performance by Teresa del Olmo, the Cuban writer Dulce María Loynaz (1902-1997), represented with subtle delicacy by Leila Arias and the poet and publisher Concha Méndez (1898-1986) whose youthful energy and subsequent exile and disenchantment gain strength in the gaze and voice of Adela Leiro. These three new series of CartasVivas were recently screened at the Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival which, for the fourth consecutive year, included a screening of CartasVivas and a colloquium in its programme of activities. The scripts for these new series about Méndez, Sagi and Loynaz come from the important archive of the Patronato Carmen Conde-Antonio Oliver, the project's main archive.
For Nuria Capdevilla-Argüelles, head of the project, "research should not remain confined to the university; it would be unfair to society. We must take our findings and conclusions to different formats accessible to the public, and to the classroom. In other words, we need to get off campus".
The work of this past year consolidates the team's commitment to translating the past into the present. This central axis has resulted this year in the first stage production of CartasVivas. This first play brings to the stage the letters between Carmen Laforet and Elena Fortún, published in the Cuadernos de obra fundamental collection of the Fundación Banco de Santander. This theatrical production with dramaturgy and direction by Paula Paz is the result of research and development work carried out jointly by the Cervantes Theatre and the academic team of CartasVivas. The result has been a stage proposal that, after premiering to great public and critical acclaim in London last May, is now coming to the Teatro Abadía of Madrid on 26 January with the actresses Elena Sanz and Paula Rodríguez. "We are in debt to these intellectuals, we must give them a voice and visibility so that they don't fall into oblivion," explained Paula Paz, artistic director.
The Cervantes Theatre, founded in 2016, is the only bilingual theatre in London dedicated to the internalisation of Spanish culture. It welcomes over 8,000 students a year who come from all over the UK to enjoy plays by Spanish and Latin American playwrights.
In addition to continuing to develop new CartasVivas on stage and new audiovisual series of CartasVivas by the writers Margarita Comas, Elisabeth Mulder and Elena Fortún, the theatre and the university strengthen the educational proposal of CartasVivas with the support of the Fundación Banco de Santander. In this way, the linkage to archival research, new technologies and theatre turn tomorrow's Hispanists and secondary school students into content creators and cultural agents, able to prepare their own CartasVivas in teams, from the research of the writer or intellectual to the filming of the audiovisual capsule. Podcasts, subtitling, filming techniques, scriptwriting, historiographical research and film editing, and acting are some of the skills worked on in the workshops of the CartesVives Classroom, which has already been used by three generations of students at the University of Exeter and is used by educational institutions in the USA, Spain, the UK and other European countries.