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Saturday March 16 | Session 15:05 - 16:35 (20 min) De Brakke Grond | Grote Zaal

Theatre makers Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere talk about the research and creation of their second show, Pleasant Island.

For this piece they travelled to Nauru, 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. 

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?


Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere took their first steps at KAAP (Bruges), Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek and Bâtard Festival (Brussels). In their acclaimed 'Mining Stories' (2016) they explored the impact of a recent mining disaster in the south of Brazil. With 'Pleasant Island' they continue their research into the consequences of extreme mining via documentary material and field recordings obtained through interviews and conversations. They create their works under the wings of CAMPO, with the support of Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek, Spring Festival, De Brakke Grond, Veem House for Performance, Kunstenfestivaldesarts and Beursschouwburg.


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