11.01.2022 #festival #performing arts #theatre

Terres Arides by Ian de Toffoli, with Luc Schiltz and Pitt Simon, will represent Luxembourg at the Festival OFF in Avignon

© Bohumil Kostohryz

Terres Arides, the second project presented as part of the  “Les Agitateurs” cycle, is a play based on a collective production of a text by the Luxembourgish author Ian de Toffoli. It has been chosen by the “Avignon jury” to officially represent, with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Grand-Ducal French-speaking theatrical creation at the Festival OFF d’Avignon. The event will take place this year from 7 to 30 July.

Co-produced by the Théâtre du Centaure and the Kulturhaus Niederanven in co-production with the Kinneksbond – Centre culturel Mamer, the play tells the story of the real journey to Syria undertaken by a Luxembourg journalist in 2019 to report on “S.”, the only Luxembourg jihadist, or rather born and living in Luxembourg but of Portuguese nationality, which will make all the difference.

The jury’s deliberation gave rise to lively debates and several rounds of voting were necessary before Terres Arides won the vote. The jurors particularly appreciated: “the play’s subject matter and all the current issues it addresses: the question of territory and citizenship, the meaning of nationality, the motivations that can push young Europeans seduced by radical and violent ideologies to leave Western comfort, and in this case Luxembourg comfort, to go and wage jihad far from home”. In addition, “the documentary aspect of the story about a Luxembourg story, which critically examines the politics and justice of the Grand Duchy, but which goes far beyond the borders of our country”. The jury also appreciated “the play’s bold format, its stage set-up in the form of a conference, its relevant performance aspect and its captivating rhythm”.

The jury, set up by the THEATER FEDERATIOUN, was composed of five members: Fábio Godinho, actor and director, winner of the “Avignon grant” in 2021; Jérôme Konen, director of Kinneksbond – Centre culturel Mamer; Marie-Anne Lorgé, actress, author and journalist; Godefroy Gordet, journalist, author and director; Alexandra Tobelaim, actress, director and director of NEST – Centre Dramatique National transfrontalier de Thionville-Grand Est.