© Reyer Boxem
Sat 30.11.2019 - Sat 19.09.2020

Dear Winnie,

JR.CE.SA.R, KVS & NNT
30.11.2019
-
19.09.2020

During the battle against apartheid, ANC resistance fighter Maurice Mthombeni wrote a letter to his confidante, Winnie Madikizela, better known as Winnie Mandela. The letter was however intercepted by the apartheid regime and published in the national newspaper of South Africa, in order to sow division within the ANC. Maurice Mthombeni fled to Europe and continued the battle from afar.

'Dear Winnie is a remarkably compelling ritual, with its zest for life and its powerful fighting spirit creating major fireworks on stage. Nine black women present a fiery ode to their idol, Winnie Madikizela Mandela. Time, language and style flow and intermingle freely to form one feminist, anti-racist statement - and a magnificent theatre spectacle to boot.'

Jury report Theatre festival 2020

His son, director and KVS face Junior Mthombeni, long had the idea of creating a performance around Winnie Mandela. Now, within the current European climate of disunity that pits people against one another, he found the time ripe to use Winnie Mandela as a source of inspiration on stage. The performance doesn’t only relate to this particular woman who, despite humiliation, abuse and exile, continued her resistance against the apartheid regime with untiring vigour – it also wants to emphasise what we today can learn from her characteristic fighting spirit.

This time we look not through white but coloured lenses. KVS faces Mthombeni, Fikry El Azzouzi and Cesar Janssens, together the trio Jr.c.E.sA.r, set out in search for answers together with nine actresses, singers and performers from the African diaspora. When do you rebel? When do you sacrifice your personality to the greater narrative? Together they turn the white, male, Eurocentric canon on its head. They denounce the lack of representation and criticise the official version of the story.

Winnie is not a blameless woman. She is a black woman who lived in a world of white supremist men. Despite her setbacks and mistakes, she never gave up. And that’s why she is an example for so many people, both black and white. Until today, she lends people the power to fight for more equality. This performance does not want to be a history lesson – it wants to share the power.

After their lauded performances Rumble in da Jungle and Malcolm X, Winnie Mandela is an evident next source of inspiration to Jr.cE.sA.r and KVS. They want Dear Winnie, to sow seeds of hope and inspiration among the audience. Let this inspiring story transport you, thanks to a lively performance full of music.

Is part of the parcours:
KVS creation

Like to come prepared?

  • VRT recorded a short documentary during rehearsals, which you can watch at VRT.nu.
  • A few specific names and terms are used during the performance, which we have listed and explained here.

Credits

TEKST / TEXTE / TEXT Fikry El Azzouzi REGIE / MISE EN SCÈNE / DIRECTION Junior Mthombeni MUZIEKINSTALLATIE & MUZIKALE LEIDING / INSTALLATION & DIRECTION MUSICALES / MUSICAL INSTALLATION & DIRECTION Cesar Janssens MET / AVEC / WITH Gloria Boateng, Andie Dushime, Denise Jannah, Tutu Puoane, Ntjam Rosie, Alesandra Seutin, Jade Wheeler, Joy Wielkens, Mahina Ngandu, Cesar Janssens, Christophe Millet, Junior Mthombeni BEWEGING / MOUVEMENT / MOVEMENT Alesandra Seutin STEMADVIES / COACH VOIX / VOCAL COACH Tutu Puoane DECOR- & LICHTONTWERP / CONCEPTION DE DÉCOR & LUMIÈRE / SET & LIGHT DESIGN Stef Stessel KOSTUUMONTWERP / CONCEPTION DE COSTUMES / COSTUME DESIGN Lieve Pynoo GELUIDSONTWERP / CONCEPTION DE SON / SOUND DESIGN Peter Zwart, Patrick Van Neck DRAMATURGIE / DRAMATURGY Robbert Van Heuven, Gerardo Salinas REGIE-ASSISTENT / ASSISTANT MISE EN SCÈNE / ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Wim De Vries EXTERNE BLIK / REGARD EXTÉRIEURE / OUTSIDE EYES Ntando Cele PRODUCTIE / PRODUCTION KVS, NNT PRODUCTIELEIDING / DIRECTEURS DE PRODUCTION / PRODUCTION DIRECTORS Miek Scheers, Maarten Otten, Marijn Nagel, Sita Rawie TECHNISCHE PRODUCTIE & TONEELMEESTER / PRODUCTION TECHNIQUE & REGIE DE PLATEAU / TECHNICAL PRODUCTION & STAGE MANAGER Jez Cox, Nele Druyts TECHNIEK / TECHNIQUE Ralf Nonn (licht/lumières/lighting), Peter Zwart, Patrick Van Neck, Jenneke Obdeijn, Laurens Ingels, Laura den Hollander (geluid/son/sound) DECOR- & INSTRUMENTENBOUW / CONSTRUCTION DÉCOR & INSTRUMENTS / CONSTRUCTION SET & INSTRUMENTS Ralf Nonn, Danny Vandeput UITVOERING KOSTUUMS / CONFECTION COSTUMES / COSTUME EXECUTION Kostuumatelier Noord Nederlands Toneel ASSISTENTIE KOSTUUMS & KLEEDSTER / ASSISTANT COSTUMES & HABILLEUSE / COSTUME ASSISTANT & DRESSER Milla Westerhoff, Heidi Ehrhart BOVENTITELING / SURTITRAGE / SURTITLING Inge Floré, Marelien Geus, Lola Catsburg VERTALING / TRADUCTION / TRANSLATION Anne Vanderschueren, Vertaalcollectief SPREIDING & TOURMANAGEMENT / DISTRIBUTION & TOUR MANAGEMENT Saskia Liénard COPRODUCTIE / COPRODUCTION Théâtre De Liège, Perpodium MET DE STEUN VAN / AVEC LE SOUTIEN DE / WITH THE SUPPORT OF Tax Shelter van de Belgische Federale Overheid
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