Teatro en Sepia

Alejandra Egido, edited by Ana Vivaldi

The Teatro en Sepia company (TES) was created in 2010 by the director and actress Alejandra Egido to challenge the historical and persistent indifference and oblivion towards the presence of the descendants of enslaved Africans in Argentina, as well as past and current Afro-descendant migrants.

TES examines the Argentine national narrative and opens fissures in the official discourses in a country considered forged by European immigrants who "arrived from the ships" at the end of the 19th century. One of the objectives of TES's work is to expose Afro-descendant denial and invisibility through theatre. The company stresses the idea of migration, focusing on other types of hidden trajectories, like slave ships or the arrival of African migrants in the 20th century and the present. It challenges the Argentine social imaginary but avoids the exoticisation of identities.

Teatro en Sepia in a performance of How Much You Cobrás.
TES during a performance of How Much You Cobrás.

TES has performed numerous plays, including the canonical work Calunga Andumba, written by Afro-Porteño actresses and playwrights Carmen and Susana Platero. After this initial start-up, the company has focused on working on the specific experiences of Afro-descendant women from a feminist position. Afrolatinoamericanas, by Egido and Geler, draws on archival work to portray the experience of Afro women in different periods of history.

The work No es país para negras II (No Country for Black Women II), also by Egido, draws on social research on the trajectories of Afro-Porteño women. The works Al costado del camino (On the Side of the Road), La cadena invisible (The Invisible Chain), ¿Cuánto cobrás? (How Much Do You Charge?) and Fuego amigo (Friendly Fire, included in this exhibition) advance the Afro-feminist dimension of the company.

The poetic language of TES proposes the creation of a shared space, a reunion with fragments of a repressed narrative. This poetry takes body, mind, and word to change perceptions and makes us flow beyond the "racial" limits imposed by racist structures.

The scene is part of a play set in the near post-pandemic future. It tells the story of two women, a Mapuche and an Afro-Argentine. They are around sixty years of age and work as technicians installing COVID 19 virus sensors at traffic lights - a technology developed by Argentine scientists to measure high concentrations of the virus.

The women must have their cars to get the job, but they both move around on horseback since they don't. Their work takes place at dawn in Pergamino, a city in the province of Buenos Aires located on what was the “border” with the Mapuche nations in the 19th century.

Due to the pandemic, the play was rehearsed remotely. After two months of rehearsal, the actresses recorded their scenes in Bariloche and Buenos Aires studios.


"I don't know if these characters met in a 19th-century grocery store. If not, today they meet on a scene where they can build furious future narratives, the fruit of age-old injustices.

Alejandra Egido

Miriam Álvarez shoots her section of the scene in the city of San Carlos de Bariloche.
Miriam Álvarez shoots her section of the scene in the city of San Carlos de Bariloche. Produced by Natalia Cano. Image by Natalia Cano
Alejandra Egido Shoots her scene in Buenos Aires with the production of José Lopez.
Alejandra Egido Shoots her scene in Buenos Aires with the production of José Lopez. Image: Ana Vivaldi
Miriam Álvarez watches her scene for Fuego Amigo before she continues with the shooting.
Miriam Álvarez watches her scene for Fuego amigo before she continues with the shooting. Photo Natalia Cano.


Authorship and direction: Alejandra Egido

Cast: Alejandra Egido and Miriam Álvarez

Audiovisual production: José López and Natalia Cano 

Research: the scenes were created from the collaborative analysis of Alejandra Egido, Miriam Álvarez, Lorena Cañuqueo and Ana Vivaldi, part of the CARLA project

Clandestine drama. The dramatic text was written within the dramatic writing workshop dictated by David Arancibia and part of Clandestine Dramaturgy. Clandestine Dramaturgy is a scenic and publishing research group.