In November 2015 a dam collapsed in the South of Brazil, a few miles from Silke Huysmans’ childhood house. A wave of mud and toxic waste poured into the Rio Doce and then the Atlantic Ocean. It resulted in a devastating flood that destroyed various villages in the State of Minas Gerais: the environmental impact and disaster is one of the worst ever recorded.
In Mining Stories, artists Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere tell us about this tragedy through the interviews to the victims in Brazil and to experts in different fields in Belgium. With a documentary-like approach to mining, Mining Stories lets a multitude of perspectives emerge and gathers a collection of personal stories about memory and different forms of resistance, religion and reporting.
Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere are two Belgian artists who studied at KASK School of Arts in Ghent and at Ghent University. Their performances stem from extensive research on the field and from the will to investigate the documentary-like dimension of theatre. Huysmans and Dereere have been working on a trilogy – that implied research on mining for a long time– since 2016 when the first part, Mining Stories, was presented at Bâtard Festival. Three years later, the second part Pleasant Island – focused on phosphate mining in Nauru, a small State-Island in the Pacific Ocean – debuts at Kunsten Festival Des Arts in Bruxelles. On that same stage, the last part of the trilogy – Out of the Blue, on deep sea mining – also premiered in 2022. Huysmans and Dereere have been touring the world with their work since 2017.
created by Silke Huysmans, Hannes Dereere
performance Silke Huysmans
dramaturgical advice Dries Douibi
technical support Christoph Donse
scenography Frédéric Aelterman, Luc Cools
Portuguese transcription Luanda Casella, Miguel Cipriano
production Kunsten werk plaats Piano fabriek, Bâtard Festival
supported by Vlaamse Gemeen schaps commissie, Sabam For Culture
thanks to all conversation partners
ph Hugo Cordeiro