Antigone in the Amazon

Curators’ Statement

Antigone in the Amazon by the NTGent city theatre from Belgium is a performance in which yet another mythical and ancient female figure is reinterpreted and presented in a new and contemporary light by blending it with modern contexts. Famous Belgian director Milo Rau, well-known to the Bitef Festival audience, with this piece concludes his trilogy that reinterprets ancient myths. For the needs of this production, Rau and his team travelled to Brazil, where capitalism and fire devour forests and nature, and where 1% of the population owns 45% of the land, and produced this piece in collaboration with MST (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra), the largest landless workers’ movement. Four performers on stage and many more participants, members of Brazil's indigenous peoples, recreate the story of Antigone by participating through video projections, placing it within the context of a specific event of 1996. Rau navigates between video and live performances on stage, between ancient drama and documentary material, between reality and fiction. In the theatrical space, bordered on one side by land and on the other by a screen that immerses us in the world of the Brazilian people's struggle against injustice and violence - the key themes of Antigone - a metaphorical performance emerges about the fight for human dignity. Much is monstrous, but nothing is more monstrous than man, says Sophocles in Antigone, and unfortunately, Rau confirms that this idea is today all the more present.