The Migrant Protagonists in Ignacio del Moral’s La mirada del hombre oscuro and José Moreno Arenas’ La playa

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Author: Eugenia Charoni, Flagler College, St. Augustine, United States of America
Email: echaroni@flagler.edu
Published: December 8, 2017
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijah.4.2.05

Citation: Charoni, E. (2017). The Migrant Protagonists in Ignacio del Moral’s La mirada del hombre oscuro and José Moreno Arenas’ La playa IAFOR Journal of Arts & Humanities, 4(2). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijah.4.2.05


Abstract

The constant movement of populations in search of a better standard of living is a phenomenon that has always defined the human condition. In recent decades, Europe has been facing a relentless migratory wave that has been transforming its social, political, cultural and economic dynamics. Spain has experienced the impact of this movement by accepting migrants from Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. In an effort to better portray the migratory situation in the Iberian Peninsula, Spanish playwrights have been staging characters who are either torn by stereotypes confronting the unknown Other or who turn their backs to the cruel reality of drowned bodies.

Ignacio del Moral in La Mirada del hombre oscuro (1991) and José Moreno Arenas in La playa (2004) endow their Spanish characters with sharp and provocative language while at the same time questioning their assumptions regarding the Other. In both plays, migrant characters remain silent, immobile and unable to react to or communicate with the Spaniards. This paper aims to discuss the silence and immobility of migrant characters and portray how they actually become an essential point of reference and eventually overpower the Spanish protagonists. José Moreno Arenas and Ignacio del Moral invite the audience/reader to reflect upon the accuracy of certain judgments toward the Other, to reexamine the way in which we perceive ourselves and the ones around us, and to gain a deeper understanding of human commonalities.

Keywords

immigration, Spain, silence, drowning, beach, Africa, theater, stereotypes