Ka kiñe, ka kiñe, meeting in Mapuche style

Before the function the crowd is coming together in a waiting point, then they are taken to the hall. In the way 3 Mapuches block the group and explain how much it has been difficult to get the permission to assist to thr trawun (meeting/discussion), where will be exhibit the conditions in which two young persons of the community charged under the counterterrorism law are serving presidium. When they enter only Mapudungún is spoken. Welcome to wallmapu.

“Peñi questions the Mapuche origin of Alicia and Antonio and stands up to uphold it, but she makes a sign, goes a step forward and says “I take the floor as well””

Ka kiñe, ka kiñe (again, again) introduces the audience to an assembly in a Mapuche community. There are 4 actors that visit and 3 homeowners. In the visits are the lawyer who takes the cause of the accused, the werkén (spokesman) of the neighboring community, the father of one of the defendants and a young man arrived from Santiago with the spirit of supporting the Mapuche cause. The homeowners are a married couple, parents of the other young man taken, and the grandmother. There are no seats as in the normal works, but chairs arranged as in any neighborhood meeting or university assembly. The arrangement helps immersion in the reality of the work, honoring the phrase of the poster of the work that says, “hyper realistic theater in Mapuche style.”

After a few minutes from the entrance, the werken asks permission from the homeowner to speak in winkazugun (Spanish) so that it is understood by all. But they already made the audience feel foreign in their own country. Then comes to question the justice of the state that contracts international agreements for the defense of indigenous peoples and on the other hand applies the Anti-Terrorist Law only if the accused is Mapuche. “They had no traces of gunpowder in their hands,” says the lawyer explaining the cause to those present. However, when they level the houses of the relatives, the presence of saltpeter and other elements for the cultivation of the land, which will be used to prove that those involved manufactured homemade gunpowder, is verified in the tests.

“That would be a victory for them, we can’t postpone our traditions”

Another element that breaks the fourth wall and makes us question the fictionality of the work, is when it comes time to interrupt the assembly to eat a snack. The glasses with consommé are distributed to the actors and the public alike. Outside the rain, the barks, the sirens of the police cars. Within little by little they make us feel part of the people who are organizing to protest a law without justice. Antonio and Alicia, the couple, will go camping outside the penitentiary. She has an Argentine accent. They do not let them see their son, with hardly any defense lawyer has been able to have a private audience with the young person arrested. They load their wagon and announce the trip. Ask the werken if in view of his future absence corresponds to postpone the nguillatún organized by his community. “No,” replies Antonio, “that would be a victory for them, we cannot postpone our traditions”.

With dignity they insist. Again. And again. Hence the title of the work, the need to face adversity. To demand that what is held internationally is fulfilled within the country. They retreat, they look for other clashes in memory. Michimalonco burning Santiago. Caupolican stealing the horses of the Spaniards. Matthias Catrileo. The memories of the grandmothers connect all the struggles, uniting them in a single history of resistance. The üllkantun (song) that passes from generation to generation maintains tradition and consciousness. We listen then when they intone the old word.

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Antonio asks himself why the bad luck that pursues them is due. Peñi, who also has a son who is imprisoned, answers half-jokingly that maybe it is because Alicia is not entirely Mapuche. Antonio, offended in his own home, gets up. But Alicia contains it and takes a step forward “I take the floor as well,” she says to start her defense. It is not the first time that they questioned it for being the Mapuches on the other side of the mountain range. Then she tells the story of the love that united her to Antonio, of the romance from which the son was born that now takes away the state of Chile.

Suddenly, after an urgent reflection of werken, the show ends, starts the meeting that includes the audience. An honest conversation emerges from this new trawun. It is another factor that makes Ka kiñe, ka kiñe more than a theatre play, an experience.

Ka kiñe, ka kiñe has two functions on January 24, 25 and 26 at Gonzalo Rojas hall of the Estación Mapocho Cultural Center.

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