La porte du non-retour (The Door of no return) refers to monuments on the west coast of Africa erected in memory of the millions of slaves deported from Africa to America. Once they passed through the door, they knew that they would never come back.
In this exhibit of some fifty photos, the spectator puts on headphones and listens to an audio guide for a solitary journey. Whispered into his ears are thoughts and comments, sometimes enraged or crying for social justice, but always poetic. This is a voyage into the heart of the African continent, a land of slave traders, fugitives, urban exodus, war refugees and misery.
Presented by the author of L’affiche Philippe Ducros, this rite of passage features photos and narratives he has assembled, and clearly reflects his craving for justice. The listener becomes a migrant coping with the sinister margins of a harsh world and its denizens. The narrator realizes he will never quite fully return from these journeys.
In Contact with the World
Philippe Ducros is a writer, director, actor and, since August 2010, the artistic director of Espace Libre, a Montreal centre for creating and performing new works. A self-taught artist, his approach is rooted in his many travels in our often muddled and mangled world. Between 2005 and 2007 he wrote L’affiche, a play about the occupation of Palestine, a place he visited on three separate occasions. Named the 2009 production of the year (Montreal region) by the Association québécoise des critiques de theatre, this dynamic, vivid piece will be remounted in fall 2011. Philippe Ducros is also the artistic director of Productions Hôtel-Motel.
The Hôtel-Motel theatre company is so named because it hopes, through its plays, to pull the spectator out of his kitchen and into the world at large, to encounter others and to tackle themes and concerns that affect us all. Since its inception in 2000, Hôtel-Motel has presented pieces in Quebec, Europe and Africa. Conceived to mark the tenth anniversary of the company, the La porte du non-retour project is the result of two very moving sojourns in Africa. It depicts the extreme journeys that lie at the heart of Philippe Ducros’ work.
« Dans la catégorie Montréal, le Prix de la critique est remis à L’affiche, de Philippe Ducros, dans une mise en scène de l’auteur, une production de la compagnie Hôtel-Motel. Dans ce spectacle sensible et documenté, personnel et politique, qui abordait le conflit israélo-palestinen en se tenant loin de toute forme de pamphlet, de tout manichéisme, nous avons reconnu une prise de parole courageuse, une préoccupation véritable pour les violences de notre ère et les souffrances, les déchirements qu’elles engendrent. Dans une mise en scène dynamique, Philippe Ducros a su dépeindre, avec des images percutantes et d’autres d’une grande douceur, la vie d‘une galerie de gens ordinaires broyés par la guerre. »
- Association québécoise des critiques de théâtre, 16/11/2010 (L’affiche)
PRODUCED BY PRODUCTIONS HÔTEL-MOTEL
TEXT, DIRECTION AND PHOTOGRAPHY PHILIPPE DUCROS TRANSLATION SHELLEY TEPPERMAN FRENCH VERSION WITH ÉTIENNE PILON + KLERVI THIENPONT ENGLISH VERSION WITH CATHERINE BÉRUBÉ + ALEX IVANOVICI MUSIC LUDOVIC BONNIER SET CONSULTANT MAGALIE AMYOT
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WRITTEN BY DIANE JEAN TRANSLATED BY NEIL KROETSCH
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