First afro-feminist theater being built in Barcelona

Project Periferia Cimarronas aims to build a new creative space for the Afro-descendent community in Catalonia

New afro-feminist theater in Barcelona run by project Periferia Cimarronas (photo courtesy of Periferia Cimarronas)
New afro-feminist theater in Barcelona run by project Periferia Cimarronas (photo courtesy of Periferia Cimarronas) / Scarlett Reiners

Scarlett Reiners | Barcelona

May 28, 2021 01:28 PM

The project Periferia Cimarronas, run by a group of female creatives of Afro-descent, aims to convert a space in the Sants District of Barcelona into a new theater: the first anti-racist, afro-femenist theater in Catalonia, and the whole of Spain. 

President of the organization, activist and actress, Silvia Albert Sopale, told Catalan News that the project has two main objectives, “to display the Afro-descendant, Afro-Catalan, immigrated culture that is here in the city”, as well as to “economically favour” the communities who have been unable to “enjoy the spaces that exist”, for whatever reason that may be.

The Secretary, Elizabeth Montero Santa, added: “One of the things that we as a cooperative are fighting against is racism, and what’s the best way to fight that? It’s through displaying our culture, displaying all that we can bring [to the city], and what we are actually currently bringing.”

Albert Sopale added that this is one of the positives coming with designing their own distinct artistic space: “We want to decide what it is that we want to talk about, we want to do it in the way that we want to, in the way that comes naturally to us creatively”.

Periferia Cimarronas’ ideas for how to utilize the space extend beyond just the theater area, which will take the center stage - there will also be a shop to help economically advance the work of black creatives and an “afro-friendly” café for visitors. 

Albert Sopale explained that the benefits from widening economic opportunities to black creatives are widespread: “If people prosper, the community prospers, the whole society prospers and it is Catalonia which improves”. 

However, Albert Sopale and Montero Santa told Catalan News that there is a significant lack of grants and opportunities made available for initiatives such as theirs, so they are raising money through crowdfunding and shareholding schemes to make their dream a reality.

“We’re not in this position of privilege, we don’t have an aunty, a grandmother, nobody who is going to say, ‘alright, here’s €50,000 - go,’” added Albert Sopale. “We’re doing it all by hand and with the money from people that support us”.

The goal is to raise €20,500 through crowdfunding by the end of May. You can donate to the initiative here:

Albert Sopale concluded: “Supporting and contributing to spaces like these, is helping the Afro-descendant community, contributing to a more equal society for everyone, the fight against racism and preventing the far-right from growing.”