Dire ce qu'on ne pense pas dans des langues qu’on ne parle pas

Antônio Araújo - text Bernardo Carvalho

Premiere on May 27th 2014 | Bourse building in Brussels

As a consequence of hearing the word being repeated, of making it sound like an otherwordly concept, you almost end up forgetting the perversity and the depth of its action on our societies. Financial crisis. The ever stronger economic pressure on workers, the loss of values and bearings, the fanatic individualism, the question of identity which is solved by withdrawing into oneself... A society in crisis leads to its members’ personal crises; members lost in the middle of these human anthills our cities have become.

Antônio Araújo and the Teatro da Vertigem (Theatre of Vertigo) construct their future creation for the Avignon Festival of 2014 and the Théâtre National around this (broad) topic. Antônio Araújo being a national treasure in Brazil and one of the most atypical and fascinating creators of our times, this creation is considered to be quite an important event. And it is a double "event" for in order to create this new show, Araújo entrusted Bernardo Carvalho, a major figure in Brazilian literature, with the writing of his play.

Obsessed with the scope of a theatre which is directly connected to the people, the Vertigem usually goes outside of the theatre to monopolize spaces full of poetic force. Thus Araújo has created shows in a church, in a disused prison, in a hospital and on the river Tietê which runs through Sao Paulo.

Once more, this will be the case in Brussels, a city which will be at the heart of the new show’s dramatic process. Araújo, Carvalho and the actors came to soak up the atmosphere; they filmed it, listened to it and sought out its deepest vibrations.

The performance’s two main characters wander around in Brussels, completely lost. The father lived there before, after having fled his country’s dictatorship. He now returns, accompanying his daughter, an economist, to the conference she has to hold in Brussels.  By doing so, she desperately hopes to provoke a shock strong enough to free her father from the total silence that has struck him since his wife’s death. Yet, both of them will get lost in this city which they no longer recognize. Not just physically: the inhabitants are unrecognizable too. How have politics been slowly taken over by security and identity discourses? How have points of references and values crumbled away so quickly?

If deeply rooted in reality, Araújo’s theatre remains intensely poetic, with a touch of gentle strangeness in the artistic process.

By addressing the question of the loss of landmarks through the physical and mental journey of this exiled duo, Araújo provokes a strong mise en abyme while exploring the question marks that affect all of us.

Production Festival d'Avignon and Théâtre National/Brussels. With the participation of the Teatro da Vertigem (Theatre of Vertigo). With the help of Petrobras and the consulate of France in Sao Paulo.