Silke Huysmans & Hannes Dereere (BE)

– Season preview 2023 –

multimedia performance with English subtitles | duration 60 min

A meeting with the company will be held at the end of the performance on Friday 24 February.

c/o Out Off Theatre, via Mac Mahon 16


‘We know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the bottom of the ocean.’ This statement is often heard when talking about the deep sea. Worldwide, only 10 percent of the ocean floor has been mapped and explored. At a moment in history when the planet we live on seems to have been explored extensively, some places remain unstudied and untouched.

After their acclaimed performances Mining Stories and Pleasant Island, Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere present the final part of their trilogy on mining. This time, they focus on a completely new industry: deep sea mining. With resources on land becoming increasingly scarce and overexploited, mining companies turn towards the ocean. In the spring of 2021, three ships gather on a remote patch of the Pacific Ocean. One of them belongs to the Belgian dredging company Deme-Gsr. Four kilometres below the sea surface, their mining robot is scraping the seabed in search of metals. On another ship, an international team of marine biologists and geologists keep a close watch on the operation. A third ship completes the fleet: on board of the infamous Rainbow Warrior, Greenpeace activists protest against this potential future industry.

From their small apartment in Brussels, Silke and Hannes connect with the three ships through satellite. Each of the ships represents one pillar of the public debate: industry, science and activism. Through a series of interviews and conversations, an intimate portrait of this new industry emerges. The piece is an attempt to capture a potentially pivotal moment in the history of the earth. How much deeper can mining companies dig, and what are we as humankind actually digging towards? What are the challenges and risks? What opportunities potentially lay ahead?

by & with Silke Huysmans & Hannes Dereere dramaturgy Dries Douibi sound mix Lieven Dousselaere outside eye Pol Heyvaert technique Korneel Coessens, Piet Depoortere, Koen Goossens & Babette Poncelet production CAMPO coproduction Bunker (Ljubljana), De Brakke Grond (Amsterdam), Noorderzon – Festival of Performing Arts and Society (Groningen), Zürcher Theater Spektakel (Zürich), Beursschouwburg & Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), PACT Zollverein (Essen), Théâtre de la Ville (Paris) & Festival d’Automne à Paris (Paris) residencies Kunstenwerkplaats, Pilar, Bara142 (Toestand), De Grote Post, 30CC, GC De Markten & GC Felix Sohie special thanks to John Childs, Henko De Stigter, Patricia Esquete, Iason-Zois Gazis, Jolien Goossens, Matthias Haeckel, An Lambrechts, Ted Nordhaus, Maureen Penjueli, Surabhi Ranganathan, Duygu Sevilgen, Joey Tau, Saskia Van Aalst, Kris Van Nijen, Vincent Van Quickenborne & Annemiek Vink thanks to all conversation partners & the people who helped with the transcriptions 

Silke Huysmans studied acting at the KASK School of Arts Ghent and Hannes Dereere theatre science at the University of Ghent. With their performances, the two Brussels-based artists investigate the use of journalistic and documentary elements within theatre. Underlying their work is extensive field research, which they use to shape their projects. Since 2016, they have been working on a trilogy involving long-term research on mining. For the first part entitled Mining Stories (2016), Silke and Hannes returned to where she grew up in Brazil. In 2015, a dam explosion flooded this place with toxic mining waste, causing one of the biggest ecological mining disasters in recent history. Mining Stories received the main prize at the Zürcher Theaterspektakel 2018 (Switzerland). From 2019 is the second part, Pleasant Island. In this performance, the tiny island state Nauru holds a mirror up to the whole world. Nauru was once a paradise in the Pacific. After decades of colonisation and mining, this island finds itself in grave danger, literally up to its neck in rising sea levels. Out of the Blue concludes the trilogy and premiered at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in May 2022.

FOCUS ECOLOGY

Climate change, green economy, ecological economics…

The UN defines the green economy as a real perspective. A perspective for which a growth of income and employment are driven by investments whose goal is to reduce pollution, increase renewable energy, make resources more efficient and avoid the loss of biodiversity.

Climate change is a fact: the temperatures are increasing, the precipitation pattern is changing, the ice and snow are melting and the average sea level is rising globally.

Nonetheless the differences towards that science that Darwin referred to as “economy of nature” and that in 1866 was given the name of ecology, are still too many.

Although scientists tell us that we have entered in a so called time of “Anthropocene”, in which the terrestrial environment is strongly conditioned from the effects of human actions, we assist to a global schizophrenia. On one side political, social and economic forecasts are predicting devastating news about the planet’s future, supported by protectionist initiatives, nationalistic closures, and the discussion of the 2015 Paris agreements. On the other hand the birth of transnational movements are in favor of the environment, and new generations are aware of the risks and especially the development of economic investments in energetic camp that let us hope that the green economy will not only remain a dream.

 

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