MADRID: FEAR TO EBOLA
On Friday 10 October I coordinated a workshop Psychodrama in the Faculty of Psychology at the UNED in Madrid. A few days before, Teresa Romero was the first person infected by Ebola outside Africa.
During the workshop, I proposed to perform a sociodrama*. Several themes emerged. The most chosen theme was Ebola infection in Madrid. There was a subgroup of people who resisted touching tragic themes and they explicitly expressed it. After thinking a few seconds I agreed to do a representation of a scene about the virus. I told myself I would be very careful with people who did not wanted tragedies.
What was represented was a scene in which the epidemic had spread and killed many people. One person was waiting for being diagnosed after having contact with an infected, someone else was already diagnosed and a third one was in serious condition. There were also two political meanings in the events in the media in Madrid.
After developing the scene, at the stage of sharing our experiences, I expressed the pain of not being able to embrace sick people, unable to break the barrier between the two universes: sick and healthy. Some things were in my mind but it was only later when I was clearly aware of them. The mobile phone appeared in my mind as the only way of communication. Simultaneously I asked myself again and again if the virus will not travel through the waves. I wasn´t thoroughly conscious of this phone detail until later, when I met with my fear.
I also felt and shared that not living in Madrid but in Pamplona (400 km far from Madrid), I felt safe. I felt in a different state than the other workshop participants, who were from Madrid. I laughed of myself when I realize that the virus had come to Madrid from another continent.
The next day, Saturday, I was having breakfast at the famous Café Gijon. Its tables are marble. I touched the marble below my table: it was smooth, was not carved. I was remembering “The Hive” movie, in which the characters are in that cafe, touch the marble below their table and feel something carved, turn it over and find out that they have been having coffee on tombstones converted in tables.
Suddenly everything had sense. The day before the workshop, Thursday, I had been walking through Gran Via. Someone there was playing an instrument next to a poster. I read on it: I pray for the dead … When I approached, I realize that the word despite beginning with “d” was not “dead”. Nearby, the night after the workshop I looked through a book of photos. The image of a newborn profusely decorated with lace and white, made me see a cadaver of a child, as I know that are arranged in other cultures. The footnote made me clear that was a newborn that was given to his parents. At that time I thought that those two experiences of mine were due to personal reasons.
After touching the headstones at Café Gijón, I was more aware of my fear. I thought about my fear, as part of a greater fear.
Sunday at the Rastro street market, someone made shopkeeper to protect the sword he was buying: “let´s prevent to go to the hospital as we could have some infection.” I thought my fear was part of the unconscious fear with which Madrid was. And all Spain.
Unconscious fear, but fear, that can diminish our joy of living . Sometimes the most individual is the most universal.
Goyo Armañanzas Ros, Pamplona 14 de octubre de 2014
* Sociodrama: representation as a theatrical scene of a scene based on the need of a group and following the instructions of it.