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actors on stage—one wearing a dark veil in mourning

The Home of the Spirits, a play tailored by Caridad Svich from Isabel Allende’s 1982 novel, was introduced by the Division of Theater, Dance and Efficiency Research in spring 2019. (Picture by Natalia Perez)

“Individuals say, ‘Oh no, the establishments in the USA can help something. We’re protected.’ No, beware. Nothing is protected. Nothing is without end. The whole lot can change. We’ve got to pay attention to that and be subsequently very alert. I wouldn’t say vigilant as a result of the phrase vigilant has a double which means, however alert.”

That’s Chilean writer Isabel Allende in dialog with playwright Caridad Svich, who gained a 2011 American Theatre Critics Affiliation Primus Prize for her adaptation of Allende’s 1982 novel, The Home of the Spirits. The play, introduced by UC Berkeley’s Division of Theater, Dance and Efficiency Research in spring 2019, tells the story of a household that spans three generations and a century of violent change in an unnamed Latin American nation.

The dialog, a part of Berkeley Arts and Design’s public lecture sequence, was held on April 25, 2019, on the Berkeley Artwork Museum and Pacific Movie Archive (BAMPFA). It was moderated by Michael Moran, who directed the Berkeley manufacturing.

In the course of the speak, Allende mentioned how she grew up in Chile, the place she and her household lived via the 1973 army coup, then fled to Venezuela as refugees.

“In 24 hours, all the things disappeared,” mentioned Allende. “No freedom of the press, the congress was eradicated, the judiciary system was suppressed. There have been no political events. You couldn’t even collect greater than six individuals in a room with out permission from the police. All this, which was unthinkable, occurred in Chile in 24 hours. In 24 hours, we had focus camps and torture facilities. Individuals disappeared. There was no habeas corpus. They may arrest you for an indefinite time and you may disappear and there was no clarification for the truth that your physique was by no means discovered. To at the present time, they haven’t been discovered.”

Whereas dwelling in Venezuela, Allende felt sick with nostalgia for her nation and the household she left behind. And she or he was additionally in ache figuring out that individuals — her mates and household — had been dying in Chile. Writing, she says, helped her course of her grief and start to heal.

“There was this sense of being wounded, of getting misplaced loads,” she mentioned. “Writing The Home of the Spirits was like an try to get better what I had misplaced, to deliver it again to me. The thought of placing it in paper and writing the story is a means, of creating it everlasting, of saving it from oblivion. In that sense, it was very healing.”

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Chilean writer Isabel Allende (proper) in dialog with playwright Caridad Svich (Berkeley Arts and Design video)