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Stage Torture to Stop Torture

by antitorture Saturday, Apr. 15, 2006 at 8:38 PM

Hector Aristizábal is a rare type of individual; a man who after undergoing the worst type of physical torture, works to educate people far removed from the harsh realities imposed by the U.S. government on people in other countries, by creating spaces where people are confronted with the unthinkable.

“Nightwind” a solo theater piece, is a harrowing account of his own experience of torture in his native Colombia by individuals trained in this country at the School of the Americas. Aristizábal spares no one; least of all himself, as he relives this traumatic part of his life where he survived while watching many friends and loved ones die. This chilling piece is a must see as it relentlessly tears at the numbing barriers of ignorance, indifference and stupefying insulation that we live with on this side of the imitation border.

Below is his upcoming schedule of appearances:

Hector Aristizábal returns from Washington, D.C. on May 1st, after lobbying Congress to stop funding for the School of the Americas in Ft. Benning, Georgia, the US Army program which trains Latin American military officers, including those who tortured Aristizábal in his native country of Colombia. Besides visiting members of Congress, Aristizábal will perform, "Nightwind," a solo theatre piece about his experience, and will direct participants in creating a living wall of images of torture in front of the Capitol.

Back in Pasadena, Aristizábal will offer performances of "Nightwind," a harrowing theatrical account of his own experience. The show is free to the public, with live music by Enzo Fina of Musicàntica and is scheduled as follows:

Sunday, May 7, 2006 at noon in the Marjorie Branson Performance Space: Boston Court Theatre, 70 North Mentor; Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 7:00 PM in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium: Pasadena Central Library, 285 East Walnut Street. Two more performances are still to be scheduled by All Saints Episcopal Church and by Hombres Unidos.

This summer, the show will tour South America under the auspices of SOAW (School of the Americas Watch), with the goal of encouraging Latin American governments to stop sending their military to Ft. Benning for training.

Besides sitting on the Board of the Program for Torture Victims, the oldest treatment program for survivors in the United States, Aristizábal treats fellow survivors in his capacity as psychotherapist.

He will be available for interviews upon his return from Washington, D.C.

Notes: The composite photo (by Nick T. Spark) will appear any day now in its full color glory at Armory Northwest, as part of the Northwest Portrait project.

SOA Watch is an independent organization that seeks to close the US Army School of the Americas, under whatever name it is called, through vigils and fasts, demonstrations and nonviolent protest, as well as media and legislative work.
When Congress tried to close the School of the Americas in 2000, the Department of Defense changed the name of the facility to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation and kept it open.

Nightwind, written and produced by Diane Lefer, directed by Doug Kaback, is made possible in part by the Pasadena Arts and Culture Commission, the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division, and the NALAC (National Association of Latino Arts &Culture) Fund for the Arts.

For more information or to schedule an interview:
Diane Lefer, 323.655.0120; desilef@cs.com
or feel free to contact Hector directly: haristizabal60@earthlink.net
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