Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

Gabriel Fernández Chapo (Argentina)

I don't want to be Che Guevara

Text Extract

Toilet of the men’s bathroom at a private school. Martin, wearing his rigorous uniform, grey trousers, white shirt and red tie, is sitting with his trousers on, on the toilet’s wooden lid. The toilet’s wooden door is broken in half and open. Many phrases and references to sexual and football issues are written on the inside of the door. Martin is sitting there, relaxed and smoking a cigarette. We can hear that in one of the nearby toilets in the same bathroom another person is being beaten by a group of teenagers.

Martin: I’d like to be Schwarzenegger.
Schwarzenegger in Terminator. The first one, where he played the bad guy.
To be just like a machine. No pain.
That is why I work so hard in the gym. Four days a week.
I´ve taken one free day to please my mom to go to the piss off English teacher. ‘In California you speak English’, she says. She knows I love Schwarzenegger and tries to make me excited about English.

A moan is heard after a quick sharp blow, probably a kick.

Alan is being beaten because he doesn’t want to be Schwarzenegger,
because he doesn’t want to be like everyone else,
like me.
This is what the break is for.
To know how to separate:
the ones who are cool and the ones who aren´t.
Some of them would rather prefer the bell never rang.
Break is real life.
And real life sucks.


I like this shit.
They respect me here.
In the classroom I sit by the window
and I pretend everything is like a big bus,
one of those long distance buses,
where I open the window
and the wind takes all the shit away from my head.

But everything is still here.
Oh! … That word.
Is it a noun, an adjective or an adverb?
The Spanish teacher won’t stop pissing us off with that!
What the fuck do I care?
Whore, fat, cheeky, bitch, jerk
Let’s classify the words that actually exist.

Schwarzenegger, I can’t forgive you for what you did in ‘Kindergarten cop.’
You’re not a comedy guy.
You feel nothing.
No laugh or anything.
You sold yourself there.
But if it was for a good amount of money, I understand. Cash is cash.


In the bathroom of a private school, Martin, dressed in a strict uniform, calmly smokes a cigarette during the break, while in the other toilet, his mates are beating and kicking a younger boy, Alan, “to teach” him the proper behavior at school. Martin, an Arnold Schwarzenegger fan is the leader of the group and while we hear the shouts of the young boy, Martin reflects, in a monologue, about violence, about deception, lack of future and likens life at school to a forest in which one has to survive. He thinks also about what to do with his life. Martin wants to leave school. He wonders whether school is good for anything at all. He thinks that it would be better to work with his father, a political officer who carried out illegal activities in a neighbourhood.
So Martin decides to give the final kick to Alan. Maybe then the school will finally expel him.

In technical training schools, the creativity of students is usually very limited, almost replaced by a universe of scientific knowledge related mainly to the hard sciences. In this context, the possibility that students could express their view on the representation that they have in the break and the schoolyard served as a good opportunity to express the uniqueness of their voices.
The initiative was made by simple first-person testimonies, poems of which they were the authors, songs that they thought were representative of their views and thoughts. Under these conditions, creativity blossomed, and the voices of the students became meaningful and significant.




1st Opening at Universidad Popular de Belgrano (Buenos Aires/AR) March 12, 2010

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