When times change and not everything goes in the name of art

2 min

The Me Too movement is not yet four years old - it emerged in October 2017 - and it has already managed to change the way behaviours that until then were considered almost habitual or inevitable are looked at or tolerated. It does not mean that they were liked, it does not mean that they were not traumatic for those who suffered them, but socially they were not condemned and the shame was more for the victim than for the person who had carried out the aggression. Fortunately, this is changing, although there is still fear of the stigma attached to reporting cases of abuse of power when, in addition, they are related to aggression, whether physical or psychological.

For years now, the ARA newspaper has been denouncing these facts as one of the areas of the investigation team, which in recent times has uncovered cases of abuse in the world of sport, the Church, politics, school and also in theatre. Today, after many months of work and conversations with hundreds of people to be able to contrast and confirm all the accusations, we publish a report on the cases of power abuse and harassment that have occurred at the Institut del Teatre by a small number of teachers. These are people who, making use of their power position as teachers and prestigious professionals, have assaulted students who, despite being of age, were clearly vulnerable.

The fact that the cases explained today have occurred in the context of theatre teaching, of which the management of emotions to the limit and the exploration of one's own body are an intrinsic part, does not diminish what is being explained. This is shown by the effect that persecution and harassment have had on some of the people who have suffered them, who in some cases continue to be frightened of their aggressors for fear of reprisals, both academic and professional, and who in others do not want to give out their names so as not to be victimised again.

Unwanted touching, public humiliation, continuous persecution, sexual and power abuses are not justified in any case in the name of art or by a need of the script or the work. One thing is the profession, and the tools it requires, and another to take advantage of the situation with intentions far removed from the teaching or professional goal. Not everything goes, neither in this nor in any other job where this kind of behaviour is common.

With absolute respect for individual freedom, and without entering into any kind of moral assessment -with mutual consent between adults and without power abuse, everyone has the right to do what they want, of course-, what is clear is that socially harassment and power abuse are no longer tolerable and it is the role of the institutions to put in place the monitoring and reporting mechanisms that favour the detection and eradication of these cases.