It is possible that Yerandy Fleites Perez competes with hours to beat up a little more time out of the day. Maybe he makes up thousands of stories, equations to calculate and combine his writing life, with household responsibilities, and his work at the National School of Arts (ISA).
Maybe … but what I do not doubt that one day he will return to his hometown Ranchuelo to relive the calm you feel in that frozen time of the countryside to enjoy every word, every story he creates.
For now, amidst the city agitation he writes, writes for the theaters of the city. “Mi tio, el exiliado” created havoc with its manners humor, and filled El Sotano theater for several weeks. Something similar happened with his performance Dios no fue Antonioni God in the Gaia House. And for the coming months, Antigone will be on the spotlight. The play staged by the El Portazo company from Matanzas will be released in Havana.
Antigona, along with Un bello sino and Jardín de héroes make up the Pueblo Blanco trilogy written by the playwright and soon to be published by Tablas Alarcos publishing house.
What separates Antigona from its predecessors in the literary tradition?
Antigona is a tremendously parochial work. I start from the conversion of the heroin girl to leave in second or third place the question of what should be. Red lips are a vital approach that is linked to Antigona. I am told that I am the last of the heroic ones that no one is in this fight, for that battle against something. Antigona is a village girl and that’s why that she does what she does. You have to read her story like, without adding anything.
What I could not think it has to do with the idea of a subversive act, it’s too intimate, because she could well go out with a sign that says "we will bury Polyneices", and she just doesn’t. She simply goes and paints her lips. An action that seems so simple, like getting braids or putting on lipstick becomes epidemic. People, in a show of loyalty toward the heroine, catch it and begin painting their lips. And that is an act of rebellion, of desecration, a political trick that started from a childish act.
Antigona does not ask whether or not to bury Polyneices, if you break a law or policy. She buries him, because it is her burden, because he’s her brother. I don’t dwell like Anouilh did that the heroine is going to bury Polyneices, knowing that such an act can cost her her life. His Antigone enters on tiptoe. She knew what she was doing. There is an act of conscience. She knows she is violating a law that will kill her. My Antigone buries her brother, but is something that is not questioned.
This is not a dogma thing; it is not the wanting to break a political law to trascned, to be famous, a heroine. The heroine is going to be born out of the very same events, the epical thing that in the tragedy is enclosed to a tight environment, that epic stuff heroes are made of. They are born in extraordinaire political circumstances and have to do something, face a fate that is beyond their strengths; and that is one thing my Antigona doesn’t even ponder. She becomes a heroine by accident, as Ismene says at a time during the play.
What is for you to be a hero?
That is a really difficult question. It is not related to the classic definition, but at the same time includes it. From my point of view it is someone that is constantly deconsecrating an already established power. He is somebody who is not asking around what he should do, but because out of an act of humanity he faces a whole political web, all by himself, without finding another person that shares his ideas. And he makes his view on politics, laws, human behavior, prevail. For example, in the case of heroines, they are women that are appealing to the idea of the human being, the idea of what is wrong, the idea of changing the course of events. To me, a hero is a person that fights and builds< especially here, Antigona doesn’t wonders whether she has to face Creonte, she just does it.
Why if Antigona is a country girl, with a high sense of responsibility towards her family, a heroine away from her ancestors in terms of traditions, she is punished at the end of the play?
I like to keep the idea in my plays of the big blow heroes always get at the end of tragedies. The terrible event, of disgrace, dark, of death, big wounds, seduces me a lot, because it keeps the dialogue with the tragedy and at the same time is a very nice political hook to get the reader, the spectator. I never give in the tragedy model, it seems useful to me. I like to move in that area, but what it is crystal-clear to me that cannot work tragedy as the classics did, because that will be a total anachronism, that it wouldn’t say anything at present, or wouldn’t go beyond the reasons that explain this country, or the laws, the current political system. The horrible ending has to do with the idea of making an example, of looking for other resources, understand the true sense of the story, the events that take place.
Antigone is also a family drama, they all are relatives, and they all fight. There is a moment in which Creonte de Anouilh slows, and I take it back in my play because Antigona is the daughter of Oedipus. In both, Creonte evaluates the possibility that heroin can understand his laws. But understanding has nothing to do with an indulgence of spoiled children of the protagonist, who suddenly want, because I want to, because it’s my brother and I’m going to do it and I will not repent. No, they really do not understand each other due to a generational problem. I cannot understand why you do not want me to bury my brother, what has that to do with the laws, why I have to give up things that are beyond the politics of a country. My work speaks with the act of confinement that is generational. My idea is that human conflict is the fact that we have to confront that established power, to destroy it, to form another.
What brings Antígona along with the other two works in the trilogy White People?
For me the three are political works. Everything is political. The background too, like the tragedy. My heroines face a power which they disagree with and so they learn, grow, and I with them, from the political game, of ideas, of social structures, the confrontation with the absurd laws, repressions, to which they have been led to believe and is not. They learn from their bruised generation. They learn a new idea of freedom. My heroines are teenagers that are growing, they are part of the youth who opposes, argues, that has other values.