"The question we, as filmmakers, are dealing with today, if we are involved in the work where we live, is the one of migration. That’s the political issue of our time, because a society shows the community it builds through the way it develops its vision of migration. This figure, which is nowadays highly stigmatized, tells us precisely where we stand on the scale of human values: in full decline. Our societies condemn those who ask us to welcome them, even if they are only driven by the simplest, the most natural life instincts. The social fellowship, as common platform on which a society is built and is projected, is doomed from the start."
Bénédicte Liénard and Mary Jimenez
'Sortir du noir' (Out of Darkness) was made by filmmakers Mary Jimenez and Bénédicte Liénard in the frame of Atlas of Transitions. The first public presentation took place in March 2019 in the Salle des Pieds Légers at Théâtre de Liège. Their work focuses on the reality of the migratory flow, mainly through the fundamental issue of the duty of burial. These men and women – whose corpses are bound to an endless exile – abandoned to the sea and the riverbeds, washed up on shores, trapped between walls and barbed-wire, hit by trucks, electrocuted between the wagons of the trains... who will remember them? How about our scared, old and fragile societies, which turn their backs to those innumerable deaths?
The two artists question their relation to this image, to the overflow of information that dehumanizes, to the powerlessness that is taking place. They present their personal path to us. Since 2008, a “missing” image guides them. All these reflections lead them to a socially involved project outside the cinematographic and theatrical framework that will present us an artistic work, but also sensitive, political and sincere study and analysis of the situation. This work in progress involves the spectator physically in this reflection: a beach, a voice that testifies, a presence. These elements invite us to immerge fully ourselves in the reality of the forgotten.
The second part of the show 'Sortir du noir' will be premiered and performed from 8th to 12th October 2019 in the venue of l’Œil vert in the Théâtre de Liège. It will continue the sensitive reflection of the two artists through the story of a shipwreck on the Tunisian shore and the testimony of the mothers of the missing ones, making theatre the place for plea of the forgotten. Theatre enables to contradict European migratory politics, to show the cruelty of the externalization of the borders and to give the floor to these grieving women who are never heard. The two filmmakers take over the stage with poetry and delicacy, to make us travel and reflect without any judgment or guilt, but with conviction and frankness. The voice of the soprano Noma Omran meets the pain of the mothers and becomes the guide of this journey. The creation becomes a place for memory and for a possible relation with the deceased.