React in silence, please ! (2008)

React in Silence - please-13-min
React in Silence - please-07-min
React in Silence - please-04-min
React in Silence - please-03-min
React in Silence - please-08-min
React in Silence - please-05-min
React in Silence - please-10-min

This play was inspired by the dramatic and sordid events that bloody and defile the bodies of Congolese women in the east of Ex Zaire. In the two Kivus, rape has become a real weapon of war. The militias rape and introduce all kinds of objects into the vagina of women with the obvious aim of destroying them from within but also in order to drive out the populations of the villages of these mineral-rich regions.


The play is designed as a police investigation. A series of pink objects and projected videos are arranged in the space like a sculpture installation. These objects, scattered on the stage and above the audience all have a secret link: they are clues. The ensemble creates a device close to the installation like those that can be found in contemporary art galleries and museums. It will bring the spectators to move to the stage and thus become the real actors of the performance.

Indeed, the day of the performance corresponds to the opening of this exhibition-exhibition. So at the end of the play, the public is invited to go on stage where they are offered a glass of wine. He can then walk around with a glass of red wine in his hand (which for me is the blood of the victim) and thus cross and observe the installation more closely, while Yoko Ono’s song resounds: “Kiss kiss kiss”.

The public, having entered the symbolic space of the stage, will try or not to reconstruct the story of a tragedy (highlighted during the show) and this thanks to the objects (some of which are decked out with words, titles), to the two bodies (still present on the set), and to the judicial police documents spread out on the ground.

The viewers will easily guess that these motley objects (real body objects all covered with one and only one color: that of the flesh) were inside a belly and that they were ejected from it. Who introduced these pink “things” and for what purpose?


Two bodies are in situation. The first body is hidden in an opaque garbage bag that leaves nothing to guess what it contains. The bag suddenly starts to move and seems to want to spit, vomit the body. Dance of Death. This is one of the illustrations of the central theme of the show: the notion of “inside / outside”. At first glance this bruised body which tries to pass from the inside to the outside seems powerless, it even embodies a certain renunciation. However, its difficulty in existing is not defined as renouncing the writing of movement. For me, it is the very notion of “inside / outside” that implies the notion of movement because having the need to free oneself is indeed the very embodiment of movement.

The second body is motionless. It is posed as a “still life”. His legs are slightly apart. He wears pink panties to which are attached pink ropes as well. At the end of each rope hangs a pink index: pistol, helmet, bead, cell phone, underwear, cigarettes …

The body finally ejected by the garbage bag appears stiff or rather its bust is definitely stiff. Only the legs are in motion. It is as if part of the body already appears to be dead. Yet this body is moving. Her cheeks are swollen. In fact her mouth is filled with flowers (roses of course) which are cascaded at the very end of the performance, as if these flowers came from the belly itself.

The moving body ends up hanging from a table, the only furniture in the scenography. At the moment when the public is invited to go on stage to drink red wine, then the body “still life” comes to life, an empty stemmed glass held with the fingertips, sculptural posture: from immobility to inertia.


The quality of the videos is very expressionistic: black and white contrasted with a lot of grain.

The video consists of a set of close-ups of lips distorted by grimaces and chewing mouths.

Precise special effects will distinguish bewildered bodies wandering inside a hungry mouth but also the presence of running shadows. Who is hiding behind this or that shadow, the culprit or the victim? In addition, the spectators’ shadows, glass in hand, will mingle with those of the film, as if to better blur the lines.

All the video sequences underline the omnipresent notion of “inside / outside”, and beyond the relentless omnipresence of the body: orifices, holes, openings, the very ones through which one swallows, secretes, expels.


So in my latest creation it is about non-speaking bodies, whether they are dumb, autistic or singing (because singing is not talking). A problematic is affirmed there, that of a presence affirming itself in an interrogative form: faces made up, bodies waiting, movements of refusal … in a relative


Concept : Elisabeth Bakambamba TAMBWE
Performance : Elisabeth Bakambamba TAMBWE, ely moubueya, Jamal Mataan
Choreographic support  : Serge Aimé COULIBALY
Music: Gilles LELEU
Video: François TAMBWE
Photos: ©Dig Up Productions


This project was developed as part of a “TURBO 2008” residency coached by Thierry Bae from the Impulstanz festival in Vienna. The creation will be completed in March 2009, in residence with the WUK in Vienna.