The Preamble was the axis to develop for a very particular dramaturgy contest
Has anyone ever imagined a dramatic text contest organized by the Chamber of Deputies of the Nation? Maybe not. and why wouldn’t it happen? If they have the federal arrival, the resources to do it and if, as appropriate, they have a Culture department. Strictly speaking, it is what Congress did for artists in the context of the pandemic. Who was able to participate? Argentine citizens and foreign residents with more than five years in the country. There were prize money and the publication of the works.
The contest was held but there is still no true recognition of the value of fiction, of its symbolic incidence. This is the National Contest of Theatrical Works “Power and politics”. A nice title to open the game. It was organized by the Directorate of Culture of the Chamber of Deputies and its objective was to create a link between the artistic community and that directorate in an “alternative” way.
The starting point was the Preamble of the Constitution. How is everything that the preamble says anchored in concrete situations? Thinking about a particular norm today, since the Preamble is from 1853, how valid it is, how it dialogues with the 21st century, bringing it closer, all of this through a dramatic text.
Let’s start with the jury that chose the winning works of this first edition, it is an unavoidable argument that it was a full-fledged contest: the selection of the winning works was in charge of Mariela Asensio (Buenos aires city), Elena Bossi (Jujuy), Gladys Gomez (Chaco), Raul Brambilla (City of Buenos Aires) and Mauricio Cartoon (Buenos Aires City), well-known personalities in the theatrical and cultural activities of the country, evaluated the quality of the writing of the texts.
An annoying contest? Probably, since no one wants to hear the laws put into context. And not to mention if they are crossed by humor. It is necessary to highlight that citizens do not have the opportunity to express their opinion, not even to think about the country’s legal frameworks. The chosen works systematically have an instance of denunciation. Laws are generally known in the abstract. Putting them in the framework of a dramatic situation necessarily implies contextualizing them. Situations that put white on black, plus the greys, than what is proposed by the norm and the daily event. Sometimes, it is seen that there are things that should be modified.
It is an alternative way to generate agenda. Citizens and citizens putting into play the knowledge and reflection on the rules from another place and being able to understand them from another place. It is an invitation to stress, to see if these norms are adapted to what is needed and what is. The Chamber of Deputies is the place where all the provinces are represented, it is the most federal place in the country. What better than that place to raise that contest because they wanted the largest number of people in the country to participate. All possible voices, all possible looks
The first prize went to the play Unpronounceable Antigone, by Patricio Ruiz (Blue); the second, for Vacaman, by Diego de Miguel (La Plata); and the third for river kids, by Fabián Díaz (City of Buenos Aires). Likewise, six special mentions were awarded without order of merit: Collective, by María Laura Fernández; The people never united, by Lucía Laragione and Marcelo Cosin; the rest of the others, by Mariano Saba; Ungovernable, de Leonel Giacometto; The world is a handkerchief, by Alejandro Robino; Y the color of the wind, by Julieta Correa Saffi.
It is very important to point out that 230 works were received from authors from the City of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Córdoba, Tucumán, Salta, Mendoza, Corrientes, Chaco, Tierra del Fuego, Entre Ríos, San Luis, San Juan, Río Negro, Neuquén, Entre Ríos and Chubut, from 84 locations in the country, who fulfilled the task of contextualizing the values and purposes of the Preamble through the most diverse social and historical themes.
The winning works will be edited and published by the Press of the Congress of the Nation. In principle, the works are published on the portal and there is a virtual library project that is already underway in which the works that win the Contest will be published.
The deputy director general of the Directorate of Culture, Natalia Calcagno, announced that the “Power and politics” contest will have a second edition in 2022, and “it is a bet that the encounter of art with politics can generate new agendas”. The schedule will be communicated soon and the topic to be addressed will be the environment. It can be accessed from here: https://www.diputados.gov.ar/secparl/dcultura/FDA/obraspdf