What is a Veteran? Survivor? Hero? Mad Man?
In 1982, Argentina and UK fought the Malvinas Falklands War. The war ended with the British military victory and took about 1,000 lives, both British and Argentinean. While the conflict took place years ago, the sovereignty of the islands is still in dispute.
In Lola Arias’ MINEFIELD, six Falklands/Malvinas war veterans who once faced each other across a battlefield now face each other across a stage. Together they travel back to 1984 to share memories, films, songs, and photos as they recall their collective war and embody the political figures that led them into it. “It’s memory as a minefield that has fascinated Arias in so much of her work and which takes centre stage in this piece, which takes the men back in time and makes them consider recollections which have either become burnished through frequent retelling or have remained buried and unacknowledged.” (The Guardian)
Rich with live-action projections, and told in both Spanish and English, the piece is staged on a film-set-turned-time-machine, where those who fought are teleported into the past to reconstruct their memories of the war and aftermath. Soldier, veteran, human – these men have stories to share as they take us from the horrors of war to today’s uncertainties, with brutal honesty and startling humor.
The power of the story is in the hands of the veterans. “An integral part of the process is dealing with what comes out,” says Arias in an interview with The Guardian, “and deciding what will and won’t appear in the piece. I create text from what they tell me and then I give it back to them and they decide whether it will or won’t go in, and they can always change their minds at any point, even once we are performing it. They have the power.”
Lola Arias is a writer, director, actress, and songwriter and a leading voice in Argentinean theatre. Her productions play with the overlap between reality and fiction.