30.09.2022 #literature #performing arts #residency #theatre

Interview with Hassane Kassi Kouyaté, Director of Francophonies - Des écritures à la scène

Establishing links with the Francophonies, Kultur | lx welcomed and met Hassane Kassi Kouyaté, Director of the Francophonies – Des écritures à la scène during the Focus Theatre last spring. On this occasion, we had the opportunity to talk with him about the festival that started on September 20th with a tribute to Monique Blin, founder of the Francophonies in 1984.

Kultur | lx: What does the Francophonies mean to you? What are the challenges?
Hassane Kassi Kouyaté: There are as many Francophonies as there are people. Language is a cultural object that expresses a combination of cultures, Francophonie is a cultural act. The accent, the way in which a sound is pressed, creates a word and also expresses different Francophonies.

What interests me is to hear authors who tell the world differently, who shed a different light. How, through these different francophonies, they tell the same world.

How do you see the programming and your relationship to plural Francophone writing?
We choose to focus on one region so that the audience can see the difference between the Francophonies from which political, academic or sociological discussions emerge (Editor’s note: the heart of the Festival will be at the Archipelago this year. Islands of words and songs, islands of music and dance, islands of terrestrial and literary nourishment. And above all, encounters, links, beyond borders to make an archipelago).

We are always on the lookout for other ways of conceiving, of saying. The different theatrical and written forms allow the artist to express his or her truth, which can be found in a universality.
We are in the craft business, every project is special and we take the time it takes to bring these projects to life.

What are your first relations with Luxembourg authors?
The meetings held during this focus have opened up perspectives and ideas for future collaboration. There is a real desire to support authors in this territory, a very positive dynamic.

Moreover, for the first time, we are welcoming a Luxembourg author in residence, Ian de Toffoli, for 6 weeks for his next project, Léa et la théorie des systèmes complexes, which will be the subject of a theatrical production, co-produced by the Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg and Les Francophonies de Limoges at the beginning of the 2023/2024 season.

With the Festival des Zébrures d’automne des Francophonies de Limoges in full swing, Ian de Toffoli, who is currently in residence until 22 October, finds this festival inspiring: “Every day you can see music, concerts and, above all, plays by French-speaking authors from all over the world, from the Caribbean, Africa, Switzerland, Belgium, Canada and – soon – even Luxembourg. It’s a great place for exchange, for dialogue, a place that promotes cultural diversity and openness to the world, which we all need in these dark times. It is a festival like a breath of fresh air! I have the chance to attend performances there, to make rich and inspiring encounters, to feed myself artistically from what I see and experience.”