Yahia Yaïch - Amnesia

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The 2011 archive

Jalila Baccar & Fadhel Jaïbi


Yahia Yaïch - Amnesia © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon


In the month of April 2010, when the public of Tunis discovered the new creation by Jalila Baccar and Fadhel Jaïbi, Yahia Yaïch - Amnesia, it gave it a long ovation. It was amazed that a show like this could have gotten past the barriers of Tunisian censorship that, two years earlier, had prohibited the performances of Corps otages, the company's previous production. This surprise stemmed from the subject of the play itself: the story of a political ruler, Yahia Yaïch, who learns on television that he has been deposed and therefore loses his absolute powers. A story that, in this country that was at the time crushed by the dictatorship of President Ben Ali, made a direct attack on a taboo. Far from making a facile and direct denunciation, Jalila Baccar and Fadhel Jaïbi orchestrate a genuine tragedy about a despot who is suddenly dismissed, about a long-muzzled press that has a hard time getting rid of its cant and a people with a numb conscience. Using to its best advantage a simple set, playing on the contrasts of black and white, the staging brings out the actors' bodies and creates a constant movement around the fallen ruler, caught in the infernal spiral of incomprehension and denial, ground down by practices that he himself developed. There is no caricature in this in-depth analysis of a terrifying system, in this presentation, not devoid of humour, of the mechanisms of power, in this attempt at understanding the phenomena of self-censorship, more terrible yet than official censorship. There is no parody, just an eloquent gallery of characters who are profoundly human in their courage and their cowardice, who take part, voluntarily or not, in a sort of individual and collective nightmare. With Yahia Yaïch - Amnesia, theatre has foreshadowed history by freeing words and minds in a country where "tongues were cut," as Jalila Bacar and Fadhel Jaïbi so aptly put it. It managed to rigorously reveal things, entertain and use its ancestral weapons for a struggle that takes place today. JFP


text Jalila Baccar, Fadhel Jaïbi
director Fadhel Jaïbi
director assistant Narjes Ben Ammar
music Gérard Hourbette /Art Zoyd
scenography Kaîs Rostom
lighting Yvan Labasse, Fadhel Jaïbi
costumes Anissa B'diri

with Ramzi Azaiez, Jalila Baccar, Fatma Ben Saîdane, Khaled Bouzid, Sabah Bouzouita, Basma El Euchi, Riadh El Hamdi, Karim El Kefi, Mohammed Ali Kalaî, Lobna M'lika, Moez M'rabet



production Familia Productions, Bonlieu Scène nationale Annecy
coproduction Théâtre national de Bordeaux en Aquitaine, Théâtre de l'Union Centre dramatique national du Limousin, Théâtre de l'Agora Scène nationale d'Évry et de l'Essonne
avec le soutien du Ministère de la Culture et de la Sauvegarde du Patrimoine de Tunisie et de l'Organisation internationale de la Francophonie

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