Silke Huysmans & Hannes Dereere, CAMPO, BELGIUM
Slovak debut of the novel duo of Belgian performers! In November 2015, in the south of Brazil, a few kilometres from where Silke Huysmans spent her childhood, a water dam containing toxic mining waste collapsed. The devastating mudslide destroyed a number of villages located below the dam. The toxic sludge gradually reached the Rio Doce River and eventually the Atlantic Ocean. The ecological impact and environmental pollution were the greatest ever recorded. Silke returned to her hometown with her partner Hannes to talk to the people affected by the incident and to understand its far-reaching consequences. In Belgium, additional interviews were conducted with specialists from a range of fields, including a mining expert, a researcher into activism and a lecturer in economics. Sound and a polyphonic medley of voices – statements from different people (specialists and people affected by the disaster) – that Huysmans composes as a DJ on stage at some points are significant means of communication. Within the context of European documentary theatre, the work by Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere is exceptional. They consistently draw attention to different ecological issue of the day, those that we either do not learn about in the flood of daily news and information, or we do not notice their importance. “Brave, beautiful and incredibly powerful!” (Republik, 2018). The production Mining Stories was selected for Circuit X (Belgium, 2017) and won the main prize at the Zürcher Theatrespektakel (Switzerland, 2018).
Mining Stories is the first part of the ecological trilogy. At Divadelná Nitra 2023 you have the unique opportunity to see the other two parts as well: Out of the Blue and Pleasant Island.
created by: Silke Huysmans, Hannes Dereere
performance: Silke Huysmans
dramaturgical advice: Dries Douibi
technical support: Christoph Donse
scenography: Frédéric Aelterman, Luc Cools
Portuguese transcriptions: Luanda Casella, Miguel Cipriano
production: Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek, Bâtard Festival
with the support: Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie, Sabam For Culture
thanks to all conversations partners
Presentation at Divadelná Nitra with the support of the Government of Flanders.
Silke Huysmans (1989) studied dramaturgy at the art school KASK in Ghent and Hannes Dereere (1990) Theatre Studies at Ghent University. With their projects, they explore the use of journalistic and documentary elements and methods in theatre. Their work arises from extensive field research. In 2016, they started working on a long-term research project on mining and extraction, that resulted in a trilogy of stage pieces. Huysmans and Dereere’s documentary and polyphonic work is based on specific social, political and ecological situations, events or places that reflect wider global issues. Their works featured and received awards at major festivals, such as Circuit X/Het Theatre Festival 2017 Zürcher Theatrespektakel 2018 or Kunstenfestivaldesarts.
The documentary and polyphonic work of Belgian theatre artists Silke Huysmans (drama, KASK) and Hannes Dereere (theatre sciences, Ghent University) is based on concrete social, political and ecological situations, events or places that reflect broader global themes. What characterises the duo is how they carry out their research – by means of scientific examination, interviews and fieldwork. With their performances they investigate the use of journalistic and documentary elements within theatre. Since 2016, they have been working on a trilogy on mining.
“Innovative, resonant take on a dam-burst disaster.” The Irish Times, IR 01.10.18
“Brave, beautiful and incredibly strong!” Republik, CH 28.08.2018
“Everything about Mining Stories feels as it should be, with great dramaturgical, philosophical and almost academic precision.” Theaterkrant, NL 04.11.17