Article published on the 2009-03-16 Latest update 2009-03-22 16:08 TU
The Passeurs de Mémoire company performs Folies Coloniales at La Villette, Paris, March 2009
"I was very astonished by the type of language, the triumph of the white man, the French man, the French coloniser. But when you read this today you can't do anything but laugh. And also it's a taste of scandal because you realise the scorn. So I decided to put on a play about this," explains Dominique Lurcel.
Folies Coloniales (Colonial Follies) is a play that was written by those whose words wrote colonial history - presidents, prime ministers, other politicians, army generals, religious leaders, philiosphers, writers and school teachers.
Lurcel's grandfather played a large part in the play, Folies Coloniales, "He was the histographer for the City of Paris at the time of the centenary celebrations of France's colonial take over of Algeria, in 1930. That's how I discovered these incredible texts."
The play portrays in the most negative way, the condescending and cruel language used to enforce a policy of domination.
"Some people say that there were those at the time who didn't think in this way, who didn't say such things, so I should have included characters like them. But I wanted to make clear this kind of language, because it was the principle one. It was impossible I think to give the other point of view."
What comes out in the play, for spectators today, is that even if those policies may have benefitted the colonised countries, or some of their people, to some extent, the system gave the the colonial power a crushing advantage.
Folies Coloniales is playing in the Salle Boris Vian at the Grande Halle, Parc de la Villette until March 28, 15 euros. Reservations: 01.40.03.75.75.
A final performance will be staged at L’Onde, 8 bis ave Louis Breguet, VELIZY VILLACOUBLAY on April 2.