Water, apocalypse and writing

Jose stayed for two weeks at BRUNAKRA from June 10th to write on his play about a world in despair where water is almost gone. The only pockets left is on high altitude places in the Andes and Himalayas. When Jose left he went to bicycle the 650 km along the coast up to Stockholm during an additional two weeks. Here he writes in own words about his stay and experiences.


My residency in Brunakra took place from 10th to 22nd June. In Spain I work as a playwright, director and actor, always in theater. The opportunity to be writing in depth, without any other work to do, it is always very recommendable. Furthermore, it has been very good to find a place where the residency and the surroundings are beautiful and inspiring.

My project was about a futuristic play. A play about a planet with an incredible lack of drinkable water. Where the sea water has been contaminated for ages. The polar ice caps melted in the past. Most of the rivers are dry. The last groups of human beings live in the heights of Himalayas and Andes. Some ice remains on the top of these mountains. They live in extreme conditions. Survival is the main goal for them every day. Climbing is a necessary skill. Height acclimatization is also necessary. Human bodies have been adapted to the new living conditions.

That was the starting point. The fist two days where to develop this dramatic situation. And to design all possibilities for the scenography. At the same time the characters started to appear, following the needs of the story and the development of the writing. Characters were evolving together with the story, with the drama.

Five different characters set up one of the communities surviving in the very high mountains. Maybe it is the last community, we do not know. They have different origins, backgrounds and skills. They have to cooperate in order to survive. Then I realized that it is also an adventure play so it was important to build it up with events and obstacles.

At the same time I was doing some research, mainly in Internet, but also reading a book called “The mountains of my life”, by Walter Bonatti, a well-known mountain climber from the 50’s and 60’s. It is an inspiring book and a good source of information. Survival is one of the topics I have been always interested in. I have researched about it a lot and I think it is a way to put the characters into the deepest reality, into the real human condition.

Once the basis was clear, the situations and the dialogues were coming out. During my stay at Brunakra I wrote seven scenes. The end of the seventh scene is an important turning point and it is the end of the first half of the play. The second half is still to be written. It has been good to stop, recapitulate and do some more research before starting to write the second part.

At the end of the residency I could share the playwriting with some Brunakra’s neighbours and friends. It was a kind of storytelling about the play and the characters. It was a very good experience and provinding me with information about the possibilities of the play.

I like the challenge myself and I have traveled by bicycle many times. In 2010-2011 I went from Spain to India all the way by bicycle. And after the residency at Brunakra I stayed two more weeks in Sweden, traveling by bicycle.

During this cycling trip all along the Swedish South Eastern coast, I continued writing on the play and other materials. I was inspired by the beautiful Swedish landscape, by the nature: forests, wild beaches, lakes and opened fields. And the light, most of the time present, active, offering me great images and sunsets.

The writing is still going on. Always going on.
/Jose Bote