Friday, October 18

Please note that this will be a French-speaking event.

We have given Line Guellati carte blanche to contribute to the festival programme as part of her Curieuse Résidence 2019. The two-day programme will provide an opportunity to challenge and deconstruct our perceptions of mental illnesses and those suffering with them.

Line has been taking the so-called disjointed words of her diagnosed schizophrenic brother for a number of years now, recording them and perpetuating them, drawing inspiration from his detachment and the powerful, bold, unclassifiable images that this brings with it.

 © Samia Ayach – Créahm-Bruxelles

With her brother in and out of psychiatric hospital, she realised that the carers there were unwittingly engaging in a perpetual pattern of concern without really knowing what to do with this desire to keep the individuals concerned safe out of love. What role does it play (or not play) in this society? What does it mean – to be brimming over? to be deviating? from where? How do we go about overcoming the failings of this exclusive system? When we have a child who is considered to be ill, should we be responsible for them right throughout our lives? Where does our creativity lie, and where do our failings, our helplessness and our fears when faced with such problems stem from? How do we tell our story in a new light? What common ground can we build upon?

With 1 Belgian national in 100 suffering with schizophrenia and 1 in 3 dealing with mental problems over the course of their lifetime, it is high time we reconsidered our relationships with such problems and those who are affected by them.

The “Dessine-moi un mutant” production (provisional title) that is in the process of being written will initially be based on her brother’s words as she has recorded them, as well as various encounters and time spent at institutions around Belgium that support so-called psychotic individuals (L’Autre lieu, Parhélie, Revers, …) and various attempts to explore the issue. This includes research carried out by Corinne Sombrun, the first Frenchwoman to be recognised as a shaman in Mongolia and who, thanks to her experience in the field, works with researchers with a view to understanding the mechanisms in the brain linked to states of trance.

This production will attempt to deconstruct the way in which we see the illness and its diagnosis, with this initial stage in the process also providing an opportunity to explore the text behind the production and chat to the team about this particular issue.

Writer and director / Line Guellati
Creative performers / Marion Lory, Amélie Lemonnier, AntoJo Otero
Supported by Curieuse Résidence 2019, Voix De Femmes Festival, the FWB’s research, training and experimentation support grant (CAPT), the Service des Arts de la Scène (‘Performing Arts Department’) of the Province of Hainaut – La Fabrique de Théâtre, Ad Libitum, Virecourt studios – Compagnie MAPS, and the CED (Centre des Écritures Dramatiques, ‘Centre for Dramatic Writing’).
Project run by Darouri Express.