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Mirada íntima al regreso después de la guerra

Photo: Photo: Balasz Gardi
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La guerra no necesariamente termina sólo porque uno vuelve a casa. Eso queda claro en una pieza teatral como Basetrack Live, en la que se pone en relieve el hecho de que el proceso de reinserción de quien regresa a la vida civil puede ser difícil, hasta traumático.

Cualquier persona que haya servido en las fuerzas militares en alguna capacidad podría dar testimonio de ello. Sobre todo los más de 2 millones de veteranos que en la pasada década retornaron a los Estados Unidos tras haber cumplido con sus misiones en Afganistán e Iraq.

Es en ese tipo de testimonio que se basa Basetrack Live, puesta en escena en la que se combinan la actuación, la música en vivo, y elementos visuales multimedios.

Elogiada por el diario The New York Times tras su estreno el año pasado como una de las 10 presentaciones teatrales imperdibles del 2014, Basetrack Live se estrena en el sur de la Florida el sábado 21 de este mes en el South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center. La producción, en gira nacional, llega gracias al programa artístico-cultural MDC Live Arts del Miami Dade College, con apoyo de la Knight Foundation.

“Soy una persona que, como muchas otras en los Estados Unidos, no ha sido impactada personalmente por la guerra. No es algo cercano a mi vida”, dice en Miami Kathryn García, directora ejecutiva de MDC Live Arts.

“Entonces, después de ver esta obra, realmente te hace pensar sobre cómo afecta a las familias”, prosigue García. “Esperamos que cuando la gente la vea, encuentren la oportunidad de conversar al respecto. Que piensen un poco más cómo es para los soldados que van por nosotros a combate y cómo es para ellos cuando regresan”.

Esa conversación es una que Basetrack Live genera sobre todo en los recintos universitarios en los que se presenta. Esto era importante para la misión de llevar un mensaje a las nuevas generaciones.

“Creo que lo que ganamos de un público estudiantil es una mirada nueva y fresca, esta perspectiva de alguien que ha crecido con la guerra pero que quizás desconoce cómo ha afectado a personas que le rodean”, dice desde la ciudad de Nueva York Tyler La Marr, el actor y también veterano que, en el rol protagónico de Basetrack Live, interpreta a otro infante de Marina, AJ Czubai, desplegado a Afganistán.

El proceso de inmersión por el que pasa el público según se adentra en el mundo de Czubai y de su esposa Melissa (la actriz Ashley Bloom) lo propulsa el libreto basado en narrativas de Czubai y otros compañeros del Primer Batallón, Octavo Regimiento de la Infantería de Marina, mientras que fotos y vídeos de fotoperiodistas independientes asignados a ese unidad complementan las historias.

“El mensaje del espectáculo es la esperanza”, afirma La Marr, de 28 años y oriundo de Washington. “Sé que parecerá difícil de creer, pero la pieza no es política de ninguna manera. No aprueba ni menosprecia la guerra, sólo presenta la historia de una persona verdadera, un infante de Marina, y de su ahora ex esposa, y todo lo que vivieron durante su servicio”.

Así como lo que vino después.

“Con lo que tuvo que luchar cuando regresó a casa herido y sufría de estrés postraumático”, dice La Marr, quien comenzó a estudiar actuación en el 2009, estando en servicio aún en Iraq, y se graduó en teatro de Marymount Manhattan College.

La mirada interna

Dedicado hoy a la actuación de lleno, La Marr es co-fundador además de la organización Society for Artistic Veterans, que provee asesoría a veteranos involucrados en las artes o a aquellos interesados en incursionar en las mismas.

“[Basetrack Live] es una mirada interna, tras bastidores, a lo que los miembros de las fuerzas armadas y sus familias han atravesado en estos pasados 10 a 15 años”, explica el actor.

Las posibilidades de lo que esa mirada podía ofrecer atrajeron a Anne Hamburger, fundadora, directora artística, y presidenta de la compañía de producción En Garde Arts, la cual hizo realidad el proyecto.

“De la manera en que se presenta, se hace con humor, con música, no sales de ahí sintiendo que te han dado una paliza”, dice Hamburger desde Nueva York. “Es de verdad sobre el lado humano del impacto de la guerra en la gente que ha servido y sus familias”.

Hamburger trae consigo un currículo que abarcó durante años espectáculos musicales en Broadway y con la división Creative Entertainment de la empresa Walt Disney.

La base de Basetrack Live

Los orígenes de Basetrack Live se remontan a una página de Internet originalmente llamada One-Eight Basetrack. A través de ese portal y de redes sociales, los fotógrafos Teru Kuwayama, Balazs Gardi, y Tivadar Domaniczky, entre otros, diseminaban el fruto de su trabajo visual en Afganistán del 2010 al 2011. Pronto los infantes de Marina y sus familias comenzaron a usar esos foros para comunicarse e intercambiar historias.

Una exhibición de estas fotos, como parte de un proyecto de periodismo ciudadano llamado Basetrack, financiado por la Knight Foundation, llamó la atención de Ed Bilous, fundador del Centro para la Innovación en las Artes de la Juilliard School en Nueva York. Junto a Michelle DiBucci, Bilous le fue dando forma a una pieza teatral multimedios que, con el apoyo y contribución de En Garde Arts, se desarrollaría hasta llegar a ser lo que es hoy día.

La relación de Basetrack Live con el sur de la Florida cuenta además con iniciativas educativas para la comunidad como una exhibición fotográfica que comenzó en diciembre en el hotel Betsy de South Beach; una serie de talleres de escritura creativa, Live Arts Veterans’s Lab, que culmina el 19 de abril en el O, Miami Poetry Festival; y una colaboración de documentación con la estación de radio WLRN, Veterans Among Us.

“Una de las cosas que he descubierto al hacer esta pieza es que la gente regresa de la guerra y no quiere hablar de ella”, dice la productora Hamburger. “Con Basetrack Live, es como que les facilitamos hacerlo, y creo que el tema está en las mentes de muchas personas, y no sólo veteranos”.

MDC Live Arts presenta “Basetrack Live”, en el South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 S.W. 211th St., Cutler Bay. Sábado 21 de marzo, 8:00 p.m. Boletos: entrada general $35, estudiantes $15 con identificación, estudiantes de MDC $10 con identificación, veteranos del área y sus familias gratis. Más informes: 786-573-5300.

 This article also appears in El Diario Las Americas

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Journalist, arts writer, instructor of English and Spanish

A bilingual journalist and writer for over 20 years, Juan Carlos studied Communications at Fordham University in New York. He holds a Master&rsquo..

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