Nauru is a small island-state in the Pacific. Once it was called ‘Pleasant Island’ by British whalers. The history of this island can be read as a parable of our modern age. After the discovery of a vast reserve of phosphate in its soil, the island became one of the world’s richest countries. Each plot of land, each garden, each corner of the island was dug up and mined – until nothing remained and all its natural resources had been depleted. In their second show, Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere travel to this place, which, groaning under a longing for growth, has been completely stripped of its resources and dug up until literally nothing remained. The island is now one of the world’s poorest countries, and so, in order to be able to survive, it now receives refugees from Australia in exchange for a substantial compensation. What future remains after such ecological and economic ruin?
Pleasant Island is the sequel to Mining Stories and forms part of Huysmans and Dereere’s continuing research into the ramifications of the mining industry. In Pleasant Island, they combine excerpts from interviews, analytical data and field research to create an impressive polyphonic piece of documentary theatre.
work is based on the analysis of concrete situations, events or places that are representative of broader issues. What characterises the work of the duo is the way in which they carry out research by means of scientific examination, interviews and fieldwork. Huysmans completed the drama programme at KASK School of Arts in Gent in 2013. Dereere obtained his degree in theatre studies from Gent University in 2012.
Ever since that time, they have developed a strong interest in elements of documentary theatre. Pleasant Island marks their first collaboration with CAMPO arts centre in Gent, known for its work with artists such as Florentina Holzinger or Milo Rau. Their first joint piece Mining Stories has been successfully touring all over Europe since 2016 and was featured at ImPulsTanz in 2018.
65 minutes, no intermission
In case of sold-out performances waiting numbers for remaining tickets are handed out at the evening box office opening one hour before showtime.