“Going Bananas”: healing wounds through art

«Going Bananas”: healing wounds through art

In the documentary monologue Going Bananas, Inti Barrios talks about the harrowing experience she went through during her three years of rehabilitation following a a car accident in Montreal in 2012.

Director and performer Inti Barrios has found in writing and acting a good way to free herself from her emotional wounds and try to heal herself. In her documentary monologue Going Bananas, she discusses the details of the car accident that left her unable to walk for three years and takes us on the “two-wheeled journey of an over-medicated migrant” in rehabilitation.

Ms. Barrios has presented her work in Argentina and Mexico, and is currently working on staging it for Montreal audiences, with Going bananas scheduled to air in the metropolis in 2024. Métro met her during an open house rehearsal as part of a residency at Concordia University's Acts of Listening Lab, which took place from January 1 to 15. p>

Doing theater with reality

“This piece is a catharsis of my traumatic experience of hospitalization, rehabilitation and immigration,” explains Ms. Barrios, a former resident of Parc-Extension who defines herself as an “artivist” and a storyteller through theater, radio , performance art and scenic oral storytelling.

The 47-year-old artist opens her monologue by embodying the feeling of despair and abandonment felt during her accident in Montreal in 2012. Then, using a wheelchair and a few projected images, she immerses us in the painful experience she had in a hospital setting and at the Lucie-Bruneau rehabilitation centre. With raw language sprinkled with humour, she evokes several characters inspired by the patients and caregivers she met there.

Although her work denounces the precariousness and discrimination she experienced in the Quebec health system, it is also a criticism of health and migration systems around the world.

This is not just the story of my hip fracture; this is the story of several other fractures. It reflects the violent reality of a system that pushes for the victims of serious accidents to return to work as quickly as possible.

Inti Barrios, director and performer

Her play encourages a reflection on the inequities, pain, “ableism” and overuse of drugs in the healthcare system.

When art meets activism

“It was very shocking for me to be sent to a rehabilitation center where a large number of badly injured immigrants were staying,” says Ms. Barrios, whose stage work is closely linked to organizational processes, to the defense rights and her own experiences as an immigrant.

I have worked and campaigned for migrant rights for a long time, but I still do through art.

Inti Barrios, author of the documentary monologue Going Bananas

A communications graduate from the Ibero-American University of Puebla, Ms. Barrios studied theater at the School of Arts in the CasAzul stage in México and at the OMNIBUS Body Theater School in Montreal.

She completed her first artistic residency in Quebec in 2011 at the Center Montréal, arts interculturels (MAI), where she presented her play The Monologues of the Maquila, which focuses on the working conditions of workers in maquiladora factories.

Ms. Barrios was a member of the Bloc d'artistes of the Immigrant Workers Center of Montreal, where she met Koby Rogers Hall in 2012, an activist artist, currently a PhD candidate in the humanities at Concordia University.

In addition to working on the direction of Going Bananasin Montreal, Inti Barrios and Koby Rogers Hall are currently collaborating on the design of the work Remembering Carmelos, which pays tribute to their friend Carmelo Monge Rosas, co-founder of the Mexicans United for Regularization movement, who died in 2021 .

“Going Bananas”: healing wounds through art

Inti Barrios, 47, director and performer of Going BananasPhoto: Karla Meza, Metro

Space for creation and expression

“As part of my research-creation work, it is through collaboration that we address the question of the difference the arts can make in social and migrant justice, says Ms. Rogers Hall, who hosted Ms. Barrios at the Acts of Listening Lab (ALLab) as part of her residency. Inti and I wanted to open our creative process to the public to explore the energetic aspect that results from its direct interaction with the content.”

“It was an opportunity to open a conversation about Inti's lived experiences, but also about the relationship between his work Going Bananas and the work on Carmelo that we create together,” continues Ms. Rogers Hall, who dedicates part of her research to how migrant ethics and justice practices inform artistic practice and its influence on social movements. /p>

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