Virginia, Ainara and Miriam the « doctors » from Hospitran
"Our objective isn't to make the hospitalised person laugh, but to takethe drama out of the hospital ambience"
We met with Virginia Moratinos who is Dr. Canica, Ainara Febles who is Dr. Nina Serotonina and Miriam Ortega who is Dr. Micromina la más Divina, so that those amazing women could tell us about themselves and of they alter-ego in the hospital clown world. But first of all, we wanted them to explain to us what really is HOSPITRAN. VIR.- Hospitran isthe Hospital Clown Association of Fuerteventura. It was created in 2015 from the « Tran Tran » clown festival. We took advantage of the presence of the ‘Tran Tran’ festivals that used to visit the hospital and Roberto Cabrera was wise in thinking that « if it worked during those days, we had to get the positive consequences of the hospital clowns to be permanent instead of for just a few days ».
What motivated you to get involved in this delicate world of clowns and even more so as hospital clowns?
AIN.- I started working with Hospitran after a Clown course that they organised in March 2016, which I started because of personal motives. I knew what being a clown was like and after that course, I fell in love with the idea of being a hospital clown. MIR-. When professional clowns came to the hospital, I was there as a photographer and I fell in love with what I saw from the other side of the objective and I decided that I wanted to be part of those clowns. I researched it and realised it wasn't that easy. In 2015, I did a first clown course, but as our artistic director, Daniel Mesa, says, you have to specialise in becoming a hospital clown, which isn't the same as being a show clown. From then on I did a first level, a second and a third one and later I specialised in being a hospital clown. First of all, we go as observers for a while and then we can start. AIN.- We have 12 practises, before being able to start and we work as duos, but at the beginning, three persons go together as the artistic director goes as well. VIR.- I also started by chance, I saw that Hospitran were organising a course and it caught my attention, but I never thought that I would follow it but I decided to go for it. I thought it could help me feel more comfortable. I started in 2016 with Ainara and then I followed a second and a third course with Daniel Mesa and then I specialised. From the moment I started until the first visit as an observer, a year and a half went by. It is a slow process. It didn't teach me how to be funny, you don't get given a pack that makes what you say or do funny. It is a process of unlearning in order to learn again and you have to destroy in order to build again. It is a long and complex path, with much emotion, not only with laughter but also with tears. We need to connect again with our inner child. Although we are already hospital clowns, we keep on being trained permanently with our artistic director who is a professional clown and hospital clown in Gran Canaria. He also comes over to check on the new clowns. AIN.- A child is able to get to places where I can't get to as an adult. Their imagination and innocence make in natural, without prejudging and they see things in a simpler manner. The clown can do anything and doesn't think about what he looks like or what others will think. MIR.- Our objective in the hospital isn't to make hospitalised people laugh, whether they are children or adults, the objective is to take the drama out of the hospital ambience, bring people back to their adult or child condition and channel their emotions because very often they are blocked. VIR.- Sometimes, it is the carer of a sick person or of a premature child who needs a cuddle and a laugh. The clown is a changing agent because the patients lose their condition as a person in the hospital and they need to obey. With the clowns, especially children, they get back their decision power by letting the clown enter their room or not.
How does it work within the hospital?
VIR.- We first go to the infirmary where we are given the medical information and we know how we can use it. We also follow a hygiene and sanitary measures protocol. They tell us where we can go in and under what conditions, but whether the patient is a child, an adult or an elderly person, we always ask the permission to go in before entering. This is when they get their decision power back.
How many clowns, men and women are there?
MIR.- There are doctor Endorfino and professor Meapunto, us and another two that are getting ready to start soon.
How often do you go to the hospital?
MIR.- We go on Wednesdays in the afternoon and on Thursdays in the morning and we visit various areas of the hospital and also the corridors, as you are a clown from the moment you leave your room until you get back to it. AIR.- We come out of our room already dressed up and we greet everyone. From the moment we put on our red noses, we change reality, both ours and that of the others. VIR.- Sometimes, we help with the communication between patients and the staff, to help the patients to get up or to get them to collaborate. We also bring tenderness and sometimes it helps them cry. They allow themselves to be vulnerable.
It is a good thing that doctors understand the benefits of hospital clowns and know how to take advantage of it...
Indeed, often they ask us to come along with a child when they need to have injections or other treatments... The collaboration with the hospital Social Worker, Loles Fabelo, is also wonderful; at any time, they know where we are and we have regular meetings where we talk about the evolution of the different floors, etc. We need members or punctual collaborators, without them, it would be impossible. People who wish to collaborate can contact: Virginia Moratinos / email@example.com / Telf.:609 512 444