Dis-moi wie ik ben
In a whirlwind of short scenes Aïcha Cissé and Aminata Demba take you on a journey in which they search for their identity. With little more than cardboard, a handful of confetti and a few theatrical costumes, they evoke the complexity of their world of experience in genuine Arte Povera style. With disarming humour and plenty of the joy of performing, they quickly switch between different contexts and codes that shape their everyday lives.
Dis-moi wie ik ben is a refreshing self-portrait of the so-called ‘second generation’ of young people who are navigating different languages and cultures. Between where their parents come from and the environment in which they grow up, and between stereotypes and authenticity, they develop multiple and fluid identities.
The parents of Aïcha and Aminata migrated from Mali and Senegal to Belgium. The diamond trade took them from West Africa to Europe. Initially, they did not plan to stay, but life decided otherwise and their children grew up here. As second generation citizens, Aïcha and Aminata have many questions to which the first generation has very few answers. And so they assemble facts and fiction to tell the story of their parents – and thus their own story.
For some, the performance is a feast of recognition, for others it provides a unique insight into the lives of people with a migration background. A catchy performance for anyone over 12 years old.
Dis-moi wie ik ben was a breakthrough for actresses Aminata Demba and Aïcha Cissé, who were then invited to perform in productions of Toneelhuis, Laika, De Maan, KunstZ and others. Aminata Demba also made a documentary on Canvas (Vranckx en de Nomaden) about her family history and the questions that Dis-moi wie ik ben inspired, and named it after the address of the hotel in Antwerp where she was born: Pelikaanstraat 20.
Following a tour in Flanders and the Netherlands with more than 100 performances for schools and other audiences, KVS is now presenting the French premiere of Dis-moi wie ik ben. The performance will be followed by a discussion between the performers and the audience. Occasionally the (Brussels) director Frédérique Lecomte will join in the discussion. School performances in French and Dutch are available on request.