10/23/2017.- The voices of Aitana Sánchez Gijón and José Sacristán, along with the music of Joan Manuel Serrat and Alberto Cortéz, give voice to the poems of Miguel Hernández, the central thread of the documentary Vientos del Pueblo Sirio [Winds of the Syrian People]. This piece includes the work carried out by volunteers and members of the Valencian Region International Solidarity on the Greek island of Lesbos. On this island, more than one million refugees scrape by while waiting for European governments to fulfill their promise of asylum and settlement.
Three young people, director Mario Hernández, Paloma Jiménez, and Rubén García, as well as Soubhi Hamaui, a septuagenarian born in Syria who has spent the past 30 years in Elche, Spain, traveled over the summer to Lesbos. Their mission was to bring the figure of Miguel Hernández, and particularly his work, Vientos del Pueblo [Winds of the People] to the refugees who live there in overcrowded campsites, whose capacity surpasses 100%. “The first comment that people made when they encountered the poetry was: it’s us, this work speaks about us,” recalled Paloma in the discussion after the screening, which was also attended by Jose Sacristán.
“I am delighted to have collaborated on this project, as it has found an intelligent balance between the intensity of the poem, which has its own imagery, and the images filmed,” said Sacristán. He also made known his indignation at the reality of the refugee crisis– “It is shocking to realize that a worldview as painful and hurt as that of Miguel Hernández is perfectly applicable to the here and now. We belong to a species, our own, with some individuals… who are the ones who get to call the shots, and, well, what can be said about them now?”
All participants agreed with the director when he said that “the work of Miguel Hernández is still relevant.” As an example of other artistic expressions about the subject, Hernández referred to the Seminci press conference in which Ai Weiwei stated that there are “65 million voiceless refugees in the world, and that fact itself is a humiliation for people who have a voice; we are doing something wrong.”
The intention of this work and project is “to humanize by means of giving a face and a soul to people we interpret as statistics.” Its promoters wish that in the future “it will not be necessary to do something like this, but for the moment we will do anything and everything possible until that future becomes a reality,” said Mario Hernández.