Sometimes I miss the comfort and possibilities of the city. To have (grocery) shops and markets close to home and friends and (movie) theatres! And sometimes I need that kick…
On Ibiza it takes some effort to go shopping and seeing people. Our way of transportation is by bicycle and the distances here are further. We choose to live without a car, so we need our legs to move us to our destinations. So to see people on the other side of the island spontaneously isn’t something I do often. It needs more planning and effort. After these past weeks I decided it was about time to stop hibernating and go out!
Ibiza Cine Fest
Through a friend I heard about “Ibiza Cine Fest”, Ibiza’s international independent film festival, that takes place this week. We went to the opening night in Ibiza town two nights ago. I needed to kick my ass first, but when we hopped on our bikes and cycled to Ibiza town in the afternoon I was thrilled to attend this opening event. Besides, our friend performed in the opening act with her Theatre Of The Ancients and we wanted to be there.
Joanna brings back old cultures, traditions, myths, stories and folklore of Ibiza in her puppetry performances with the Theatre Of The Ancients which she founded some years ago. I adore her and her creative work. She’s always creating or looking for forgotten stories from another time and bring them to the people. Her work keeps the magical soul and traditions of Ibiza alive by entering her mystical world which you haven’t seen before. With her stories you step into an ancient Ibiza. Especially in the current times of mass tourism and its damaging impact on the island it’s important to revive Ibiza’s roots so they don’t get a chance to rot away.
She took us to the dark side of Es Vedrà, the small rocky island off the south western coast of Ibiza, and a monk called Francisco Palau y Quer. Over 100 years ago the monk went here to meditate in a cave where he began to witness a series of powerful visions. By her little performance I traveled to another world where I wished to stay longer.
When we arrived on our bicycles an hour before, a flamboyant couple was strolling by to the theatre’s doors. The lady looked as if she came straight from another era, her eye makeup and short black hair in the style of the 1920s. She was “Moonface, una mujer en la guerra” (a woman in times of war). “Moonface” is a documentary about the life of Christine Spengler (1945) as a war photographer and artist and it was shown on the opening night. The French Christine Spengler traveled, with her old Nikon in her hand, to the most important war conflicts of the second half of the 20th century: Northern Ireland, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq and Iran, Afghanistan, Western Sahara and Kosovo.
This remarkable woman left me breathless with her stories and her presence. Some members of the audience broke out in tears with her reflections on life, death, fear and art in the Q&A session after the movie. And I too was moved by this beautifully made, intimate documentary and Christine’s words. Her flamboyance and joy, despite the terror and human suffering she had faced during her travels and work, were beautiful and inspiring to witness. Christine Spengler resides on Ibiza with her singing partner and dog.
“As a photographer and a woman, I have always tried to find hope within the horror that I documented.”
O, and the great thing was that it was a true Spanish evening. The only languages I heard during this event were Spanish, some French and Catalan. Also the documentary was in Spanish without subtitles. Luckily Christine spoke slowly and not that fast as many Spaniards do.
We went for a drink afterwards and when we walked through the city we noticed how incredibly quiet it was. These months the island is hibernating and besides it was a Sunday evening, so there’s not much activity to expect. Only a couple of terraces were open. On the warmed terrace my glass of Chardonnay tasted so good and after having another one it was about time to go home. We had to cycle home after all — which is more than an hour — and it was almost midnight.
On the central road from Ibiza town to Sant Josep only around ten cars passed us by. The wind blew stronger all of a sudden and we had to cycle against the wind, but it didn’t matter too much because of the beauty of the darkness and the starry night sky. I must have been a night owl or a night bird in my former life as I love cycling in the dark under a sky of thousands of stars. After we passed Sant Josep we turned off our bike lights for a little while to watch the stars— there wasn’t a single soul on the road anyway. So many brilliant and fading stars; it was as if I just witnessed a piece of heaven on earth. Watching the stars always makes me feel safe, like they guard me and say “you’re doing just fine and don’t you worry now.”
It took us over 1.5 hour to cycle home. The meditating monk and mystical goats on Es Vedrà, the Moonface and her stars, they were soooo worth it!
Photo Theatre Of The Ancients by David Serracant