Individual residencies / Olot


From Monday, 23 November 2020 to Monday, 30 November 2020

Library direction (Biblioteca Trinitat Bella-J. Barbero de Barcelona)


Emma Armengod Martínez was born in Barcelona. She has a diploma in Librarianship and Documentation by the University of Barcelona. In 2004 she began to work for the Consorci Biblioteques de Barcelona, working in various libraries in the city until 2012 when she began to direct the Biblioteca Trinitat Vella - J. Barbero.

This library is characterized by carrying out educational and social work in one of the most vulnerable neighborhoods in Barcelona. This project has obtained awards and, most importantly, has made the library a benchmark equipment in the territory where it is located.

She has taken several courses in dramaturgy, the last ones in the Obrador of the Sala Beckett, and in the Faber she wants to finish the work that emerged in one of the last courses she has taken.


I come to Faber to try to order, rewrite and finish a play that has the working title of “While the streets burn”. After a new night of chaos and riots in the city, new arrests occur. While some parents observe them from diferent points of view, they realize that one of the detainees could be their daughter. But who is this girl that they don’t recognize or don’t want to recognize? Where does she get this anger towards the world and towards them? Why does she put them in this situation? Why precisely them?

Getting away to find yourself again

When I applied for a Faber residency, I wanted to finish a play I had started during a course at the Sala Beckett in Barcelona, which ran from October 2019 through May 2020 with a lockdown in the middle. Due to the uncertainty of this time, which had everyone feeling like their emotions were on a roller coaster, I didn't get to finish it but still had an itch to do so.  When they told me I could come here to Faber, I thought, “no excuses now”. In the meantime, however, I started another course at the Sala Beckett with Josep Maria Miró that had me thinking of new things to write, to read (I've never read more plays!) and to research. Most times, where we are in our lives affects what we write. I admit, I'm a bit scatterbrained. 

At Faber, I began writing a play based on the need to protect what we love most, the need for nature and to get away from a capitalist society. A woman who lives on her own in the mountains and suddenly receives a visit from a girl who turns her peaceful existence upside-down and reconnects her with everything she had left behind. I couldn't have found a better place to do it. The foundations of the text are there. I haven't forgotten the other one, of course, which I plan to take up again when I find my way back to it. 

I found a space where I can concentrate on my writing, far from the day-to-day cares and obligations that distract us from doing it the way we want to. I also spent time doing my homework for the Beckett course calmly, with more time and dedication than ever. I read loads of plays that had been piling up. I also did some research on a family affair that I want to include in my writing one day, which took me to various archives and is now cautiously yet excitedly bubbling away on a low fire. 

I met two colleagues I have learned so much from, and we've already been talking about future projects. I also found my way back to my profession from a distance, laying it all out on the table: what I like, what is my vocation and what isn't, what inspires me and what doesn't. 

On Wednesday, I had an existential crisis about what I was actually doing at Faber, because I was supposed to finish a piece and I wasn't even working on it. But when I wrote down everything I was doing, learning, writing... I realised just how far the week had gone. 

Thank you for so much! 


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