Thank you Mozambique, thank you so much!

It seems easy to be supportive... #1

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How do they laugh in Africa? #2

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Simone, do you want to go to Mozambique? #3

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I am going to Mozambique! But to do what? #4

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The meetings #5

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Where do I start? #6

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Meeting with

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The first contacts with Mozambique #8

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Agenda first mission in Mozambique #9

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First mission: arrival in Maputo #1

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But where am I? #2

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Meeting with Alvim Cossa #3

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Teatro do Oprimido Show #4

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Meeting with the Machaka Association #5

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The Show by the Machaka Group #6

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Manuela Soeiro and the Avenida Theater #7

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Gonçalo Mabunda #8

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Meeting with the Luarte Association #9

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Luarte Show #10

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Maputo - Pemba Journey #11

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Vitor Raposo #12

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Pemba – Palma Trip #13

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Visit to the village of Quionga #14

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Visit to the village of Quirindi #15

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That wonderful beach! #16

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Visit to the village of Pundanhar #17

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The Mamãe Kit #18

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Visit to the hospital in Palma #19

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Return to Italy #20

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The project continues! #1

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How many meetings are we going to have?!? #2

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Agenda second mission in Mozambique #3

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Second mission in Mozambique, arrival at Pemba #4

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Felix Mambucho #5

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Performance Vitor Raposo and the Tambo Tambulani Tambo company #6

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Pemba – Palma Trip #7

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Performances at Palma, on with the casting! No, stop! #8

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Grupo do funzionarios #9

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Performances (and casting) in the village of Pundanhar #10

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Performances (and casting) in the village of Quionga #11

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Selecting the actors for the Italian stages #12

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Are you ready to come to Italy? #13

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The return to Italy and end of the second mission #14

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Preparing for the first training period at Alcatraz #1

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Arrival at the Libera Università di Alcatraz #2

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We begin! #3

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Mario Pirovano #4

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Acting with Mario Pirovano #5

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Arms going up on their own! #6

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A dive into the theatre #7

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Let’s tell a love story! #8

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Being an actor is hard work #9

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What days! #10

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O falso médico! #11

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We all go shopping! #12

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The performance takes shape #13

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We need an ultrasound! #14

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Rome has never been so beautiful! #15

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Second training session: the first day... #1

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The return of the Mozambicans #2

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A tragic day #3

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Memory tests with Mario Pirovano #4

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Rehearsals, rehearsals, rehearsals… and that script in 3 languages… #5

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First reading of the script in Swahili #6

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Just for a change, we rehearse... #7

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That damned video! #8

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In and around Perugia #9

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The last rehearsals #10

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Action! #11

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Changes to the show? Change the title?!? #1

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Confusion in Fatima’s House #2

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Preparation of the stage design #3

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Ready to go (again)? #1

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Arrival at Pemba #2

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At Palma under the palm trees (wet!) #3

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First day of the tour: Mute #4

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Second day of the tour: Pundanhar #5

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Third day of the tour: Quionga #6

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Fourth day of the tour: Palma #7

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Fifth day of the tour: Olumbe #8

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Thank you Mozambique, thank you so much! #9

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Now I can say it: it was a miracle, it was crazy, who would ever have believed it ?!?

5 performances and all of them went well, always with a few hundred people in the audience, lots of women, and oh, how many children!

No mishaps, no problems with the people of the villages, actually we made them laugh, enjoy themselves and I also think reflect.

We are all happily exhausted!!!

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When they asked me, at this point more than a year ago, if I wanted to go to Mozambique “to do health theatre” I had a million doubts, no a million and a half: us?!? Mozambique?!? And where exactly is Mozambique ???

Now I think that only we could have done everything, created the miracle…We gave it our all, white and black, passion and heart, so much passion and so much heart! And courage. The courage to embark on a performance that was different from the normal ones usually presented to Mozambican villages.

For a moment, before the tour, soaked by unending rain and discouraged by unexpected occurrences, we even thought about giving up, going back home, postponing everything. Instead we remained, the rain passed, the unexpected problems were solved (one by one) and six days ago we could finally say “Raise the curtain!”

From there, also thanks to adrenaline, we were a river in full flow! Arlete went on stage with a sore ear. Ana Bela went on stage after feeling car sick, Adelino Kedo went on stage when “he felt” malaria coming on.

Heroes!

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Being the last episode in this extremely long travel log, I have to sum the project up…an extremely difficult thing to do!

Let’s start from the beginning: the idea of creating a “health” theatre performance to inform the populations in the villages of northern Mozambique arose from a need: to promote the Palma hospital, the village health centres and above all help a category of people that is greatly at risk because of the scarce hygiene and illness: pregnant women and newborn babies.

Malaria, for example, is dangerous, lethal, above all for newborn babies because their immune system is still weak, and the same is true also for the old people. They must therefore be protected. The story is the same for infections, bacteria…

How to present prevention and information in a new manner, in a way that’s captivating, interesting and enjoyable too? With the theatre, comedy in particular.

From analysing needs and elaborating a possible answer, a travelling theatre show, we moved on to selecting the actors.

Thanks to the support of Eni Foundation and Doctors with Africa CUAMM, busy with managing the Palma hospital and training doctors and nurses, we came into contact with almost all the cultural groups in the area, Palma and the surrounding villages (Pundanhar, Quionga, Mute, Olumbi).

We saw about a hundred young girls and boys, amateur actors, who proposed various types of show and performance, all however very educational, but no comedy stories.

We chose five from those hundred, Ana Bela, Safina, Adelino known as Cuba, Adelino Mr. Kedo, Agostinho plus another two people from Maputo, Felix and Arlete.

Selection of the actors and then training.

The 7 people came to Alcatraz in Italy for two theatre training sessions with Jacopo Fo and Mario Pirovano. During the sessions we wrote the script, prepared the scenes, rehearsed many times. “The false doctor” was created, a title that could be misunderstood and which was changed to “Confusion in Fatima’s house”. It’s a love story with different comical scenes, a pair of wrong injections, a doctor who isn’t really a doctor, two couples in love. In the end, one of the actresses continues the story of Amina, the main character in the story, by reading some health messages, a type of “storyteller”. Amina find out she’s pregnant and does a series of things for her own health and that of her baby.

After the training sessions, the group from Mozambique continued rehearsing at home, while in Italy we prepared the scenery and all the material necessary for presenting the performance.

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Requirement analysis, project creation, artist selection, training, operative phase.

The operative phase was a tour of 5 performances that totalised 3,500/4,000 spectators.

Spectators who laughed, enjoyed themselves, remained sitting from start to finish, which in Africa seems to be the top level of appreciation of a theatre performance, no applause.

When the performance in Quionga ended, a woman took the microphone and said that it was all lovely but the health centre in their village was too small and there was only one nurse.

A point that shows that the message arrived, oh how it arrived.

If tomorrow even only one woman in each village decides to go to the Health centre and, with lots of patience, lets herself be examined, we will have changed the world (a little!).

And I’ve been wanting to say this for days: “Thanks Mozambique, thank you so much. Lower the curtain!”

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