The documentary and polyphonic work of Belgian theatre artists Silke Huysmans (drama, KASK) and Hannes Dereere (theatre sciences, Ghent University) is based on concrete social, political and ecological situations, events or places that reflect broader global themes. What characterises the duo is how they carry out their research – by means of scientific examination, interviews and fieldwork. With their performances they investigate the use of journalistic and documentary elements within theatre.
Since 2016, they have been working on a trilogy on mining. The first part Mining Stories premiered at the Bâtard Festival in Brussels (2016). For this performance, Silke and Hannes returned to the place where she grew up in Brazil. In 2015, a dam burst flooded this place with toxic mining waste, causing one of the biggest ecological mining disasters in recent history. Mining Stories was selected for Circuit X/Het Theater Festival 2017 (Belgium) and received the main prize at the Zürcher Theaterspektakel 2018 (Switzerland).
In 2019 the second part Pleasant Island premiered at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels. In this performance, island state Nauru holds up a mirror to the world. Nauru was once a paradise in the Pacific. After decades of colonization and mining, this island is literally at its water's edge due to rising sea levels.
Out of the Blue concludes the trilogy. In this final piece Silke and Hannes look at the future of mining. Through interviews and conversations they sketch an in-depth portrait of an emerging industry: deep sea mining. The piece premiered at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in May 2022.