Who we are

ImaginAction is a community of socially engaged artists who hold spaces where the participants can become who they are: creators. In our processes, we invite the participants to access their imagination and embodied knowledge to regenerate themselves, the community and the Earth.

ImaginAction is born from the work of the founder Hector Aristizabal have been applying his knowledge with Theatre of the Oppressed and facilitation for more than 20 years.

Hector and ImaginAction have brought their unique mixes of theatre arts and community engagement all around the globeColombia, Guatemala, India, China, Nepal, Palestine, Israel, Turkey, Syria, Northern Ireland,  England, The Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Euskadi, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, France, Austria, Georgia, Croatia, Ukraine, Sudan, Senegal.

ImaginAction growing list of artist facilitators are based and work all around the globe:

Hector Aristizábal

Hector was born and raised in Medellín, Colombia when it was the most dangerous city in the world. He worked his way out of poverty to become a theatre artist and pioneering psychologist with a Masters degree from Antioquia University, then survived civil war, arrest and torture at the hands of the US-supported military. In 1989, violence and death threats forced him to leave his homeland. In exile in the US, Hector struggled to overcome his rage and desire for vengeance and to channel these energies instead into constructive social action. Since arriving in the US, he has won acclaim and awards as an artist and also received a second Masters degree, in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pacific Oaks College, leading him to combine his training in psychology and the arts with lessons gained from life experience in his therapeutic work with torture and trauma survivors, incarcerated youth, immigrant families, and people affected by HIV/AIDS. He founded ImaginAction to help people tap the transformative power of theater in programs throughout the US, Latin America, Europe and around the world, as far as Afghanistan, India, and Palestine, for community building and reconciliation, strategizing, and individual healing and liberation. Hector was honored with the prestigious Otto René Castillo Award for Political Theatre. Contact: haristizabal60@gmail.com

Diane Lefer

More then 15 years ago Diane and Hector discovered they had been working separately to address the same urgent social justice issues. Working together became a way to amplify their voices. Diane had decades of experience as an author and playwright and taught for 23 years in the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Working with and learning from Hector, Diane switched gears. Instead of working with graduate students already involved in the arts she developed a crash course in street theater for US high school and college student activists and began to offer writing workshops to encourage self-expression, boost literacy, and promote social justice with adjudicated youth, children in foster-care, and marginalized youth in Colombia and Bolivia. Diane continues to write stories and fiction, often inspired by her experiences with ImaginAction. Her focus in recent years has been to support torture survivors from around the world as they seek asylum and begin to heal and rebuild their lives in Los Angeles. Contact: dianeLefer@gmail.com

Angelo Miramonti

Angelo joined ImaginAction to serve individual and community change through arts, while also deepening his own personal search. He is a participatory theater facilitator and a development practitioner. He is also a facilitator of Cooperativa Giolli (Italy) and an Associated Artist of Anamuh, Arts for dialogue (Budapest). He trained with the Italian Theater NGO Livres Como o Vento, with ImaginAction and with other TO practitioners. Since 2009, he has been facilitating workshops and plays in Italy, France, Hungary, Guatemala, el Salvador, Colombia, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria and South Africa. He recently published How to Use Forum Theatre for Community Dialogue – A Facilitator’s Handbook (in English, Spanish French and Italian). As a development practitioner, he coordinated NGO programs to rehabilitate child soldiers in Uganda and Congo and UNICEF programs in West Africa to protect children from violence and exploitation. He carried out anthropological research on possession cults among the lebou women in Senegal. Contact: amiramonti@hotmail.com

Uri Noy Meir

Uri is a facilitator, trainer and researcher  based in central Italy. Uri is practicing and researching Social Presencing Theatre. He met Hector in 2010 in Nepal and he started to walk the path of theatre as healing. He joined ImaginAction program in N. Ireland working with protestants and catholic. He was born in Zefat in Galilee. The personal and collective story he was brought up into shattered into pieces during and following his three years of obligatory military service in the Army. This has brought him to weave a process of self-healing with the path of the artist, the researcher, and the activist. He is a trainer of Dragon Dreaming and Theatre of the Oppressed.He is interested in facilitating and motivating spaces of co-creation, joyful being, and liberation. He facilitate training, workshops and mentoring in Italy and other parts of the globe. Contact: urinoymeir@gmail.com

Ilaria Olimpico

Ilaria met Hector in 2011 in Rome enlarging her perspectives of weaving social engagement, arts and education. She was born in Nola (Naples, Italy) in 1981. She has a BA in International and Diplomatic Sciences at University Orientale in Naples, with research in Arab-Islamic world. She chose to leave the field of international cooperation  and chose to be an intercultural trainer, theater facilitator and storyteller. Her focus is the practice of sensible languages, such as theater and storywriting/telling, as channels of awareness, research, learning, conflict transformation and salutogenesis. She writes stories on thealbero.wordpress.com and orientexpress.na.it.  Contact: ilarialmp@gmail.com

Gopal Aryal

Gopal met Hector in Nepal in 2010. He is an actor, director and social theater practitioner based in Nepal. He is using theater as tool for children, youth and women empowerment, social transformation and education in Nepal since 2007. Gopal has conducted over hundred theater workshops and has directed many social theatre performances during his working period. Gopal’s works in the field of psychosocial healing and community integration in Nepal after the 2015 earthquake and in Italy for earthquake survivors are also remarkable. He has also facilitated “Theatre for Social Healing” workshop in Amsterdam and Alaska. Gopal is now on a journey to establish an international hub/centre for social theatre practitioners in Nepal. Contact: theatreactorgopal@gmail.com

 

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