Invidual residences

GEMMA RODRÍGUEZ VILLANUEVA

From Monday, 1 February 2021 to Saturday, 6 February 2021

GEMMA RODRÍGUEZ VILLANUEVA
Writer and cultural manager
Sant Cugat (Barcelona)

Bio

Cultural manager, screenwrtiter and playwright. She has a long and proven experience in the creative sector, as a manager but also as a content creator. She is a member of the Catalan PEN board a non-political organisation that promotes literature and freedom of expression. As a playwright she has had several works performed and her plays have been translated into French, Portuguese, Russian, English and Italian. She has also received the Theatre Critics award for Best Play in 2008 and the Maria Teresa León award. She has worked also as a scriptwriter for TV and for the Internet, scripting fiction series’ and interactive documentaries. She is also a member of the Catalan Screenwriters Guild (GAC).

Project

During my stay I am going to work on my new theater play: "L'home que feia punta al llapis", for wich I have received an aid  for a literary creation from the Catalan government (ILC).

I came to the Faber-Llull in Olot with the idea of locking myself away to work on a new play. A play that I had been writing for months during the weekends without much success. After six days of residence I can say that I have worked like never before, doing real writing marathons. This effort has been possible thanks to Gavina Freixa, Pepa Pasamón and Francesc Serés, the visible faces of this initiative that was devised by Olot Town Council a few years ago and recently joined by the Institut Ramon Llull. The idea is as simple as joining forces between the local and regional public administration and private initiative, in this case the Hotel Río Fluvià, which in addition to spacious rooms with magnificent views has a staff that is all about efficiency and friendliness. When you write, sometimes you forget the basic rules of civility such as timetables, meal times, cordial greetings... and you close yourself off as if you were a bunker. Behaviour that often leads to bitter arguments with partners, children, friends, work... here you are simply greeted with an understanding smile from everyone. 

  

The residency also allowed me to spend time with the artist Ada Vilaró and learn more about her work. I was also able to talk with Salem Zenia and Kaissa Ould Braham, an Algerian couple whom I deeply admire, who came to Barcelona years ago as part of the Catalan PEN's Host Writer programme and who now live with their family in Olot. We talked with them about the future of the programme and new projects such as a poetry prize for refugees. 

 Many years ago I took part in a literary residency organised by the Royal Court in London. We were 10 playwrights locked up in a country house. For 10 days we talked about theatre, about what we were writing, about the music we liked.... I have very good memories, as I will keep of this new experience. We need more projects like these, spaces of creation, refuges where we can forget what we are, submerge ourselves in the unconscious and imagine new realities. 

  

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