Letters of Friendship
Juan is Ivan
In the beginning of the 70’s there was a program in Soviet schools called Letters of Friendship. The idea was to promote friendship and peace between children from socialist countries. School teachers would spread addresses in the class and encourage children to write letters to unknown pen pals. The letters were written in language classes as part of the foreign language studies. Amanda Piña and Andrei Andrianov created this documentary piece based on the letters of such an exchange kept by a Chilean child called Juan Ramos, who had a correspondence with a Russian boy called Ivan Kamarov in the early 70’s. From 1970 to 1973 Chile was a socialist country. When the letters where written Juan and Ivan were 11 and 12 years old.
“The letters deliver a child like glance to a world in times of strong political dialectics. The piece shows how propaganda infiltrates children’s minds producing surreal fantasies and how sometimes naivety happens to be more lucid than reason.”
— Amanda Piña
Letters of friendship is a documentary theatre performance created by Andrei Andrianov and Amanda Piña in the context of “Music here, Music there” – a EU funded project on exchange between Russian and Austrian based artists.
The Radio Piece Letters of Friendship commissioned for Kunstradio by Elisabeth Zimmermann, was created by Amanda Piña and Martin Leitner.