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5365: "Vodou" in France (fwd)

From: Steeve-Anthony Nicks <STEEVE-ANTHONY.NICKS@wanadoo.fr>

Hello again everyone. I have not posted since all the changes to Bob's mail
service and the shutting down of the old e-mail. Anyway, here is something I
thought I would share with everyone.

Tonight I went to a showing of "Vodou" here in Lyon. Vodou is a new play
that debuts the 10th of November at the Theatre les Ateliers (Lyon). It was
written by Gilles Granouillet and received money from the Cultural Ministry
and support from the Beaumarchais Foundation. The director is Gilles

I am not a theater critic, and I will not attempt to become one here. I will
only show yet another example of how Ayiti is exploited around the world by
people's ignorance (not to say that any other country is not exploited by a
lack of people's knowledge....)

Unfortunately, neither the writer nor the director have been to Ayiti, not
to mention any of the actors. Getting off to a bad start already. Gilles
Granouillet was not present to defend his book, but some of the actors where
present the book and play. The inspiration for "Vodou" came from the
departure of Europeans from their embassies in Rwanda. (!)

I asked the actors (two with very light brown skin with roots in Africa, one
with franco-belge roots and very very pale skin) what they knew/thought
about voodoo before they endeavored to do this play. Their reactions
surprised me. The one actor said it was something that was taboo in his
family (not voodoo, but the traditional African religion from his region).
"A force that nobody doubted, but that was dangerous, and to be avoided," he
said. The Franco-Cameroonaise (is that the right word?) girl said that they
had the same religion as in Haiti and that it was to be taken serious, and
that in her family she was taught to avoid it, but not to doubt it's
existence. The other actor (franco-belge) did not have much to say, other
than he was atheist.

Pushed further the admitted that they knew little about Ayiti and its
religion. My questions ended when one of the actors said that the play
really had nothing to do with Voodoo, nor really with Haiti. "It's a story
that can take place anywhere in the world, and is taking place in different
places around the world."

The next such story will probably be with the Biennial de la danse here in
Lyon scheduled for 2002. It has for its theme "the road to freedom and
independence in the Americas". We all know that Ayiti should have a big
representation, but will Ayiti get its fair share? I will try and get some
names and addresses so we can urge the committee to do justice to Ayiti.

Steeve NICKS

ps. sorry for any typos, it's late and I am tired.