HOW AN IDYLLIC ISLAND WAS TURNED INTO AN OPEN-AIR PRISON BY THE OVER-EXPLOITATION OF ITS PHOSPHATE MINES.
Nauru is a 4 km2 island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Once called “Pleasant Island” due to its idyllic landscapes, it is now known as “the disappearing island” and “Australia’s dumping ground.” During a stay on Nauru in 2018, Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere bore witness to the extent of the ravages inflicted on this isolated island-state through the over-exploitation and eventual exhaustion of the phosphate mines long responsible for its wealth. Now ruined, with its devastated soil rendered impossible to farm, the island has become a detention center for migrants rejected by Australia. Finding that the islanders spoke more freely without a camera, Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere managed to record many first-person accounts with their smart phones, turning their telephones into a central element of this performance as sharp as it is worrisome about our planet’s future
With Hannes DereereSilke Huysmans
Dramaturgy Dries Douibi Sound editing Lieven Dousselaere