La Porte du non-retour

(The Gate of Non-Return. Theatrical and Photographic Ambulatory)

  • Theatre
  • Exhibition
The 2013 archive

Philippe Ducros

Montreal - Lomé - Kinshasa - Goma

No reservation, you can buy tickets on site.
La Porte du non-retour © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon

Practical infos


Whispering, then calling out, framing to broaden the horizons: Philippe Ducros' theatre plays with scales and media in a perpetual invitation to travel. He proposes an intimate and geopolitical itinerary from his native Quebec to today's Africa. The Gate of No Return makes reference to monuments built, over there, in remembrance of the millions of slaves deported to America. In a certain way, Philippe Ducros has taken the inverse route during his many trips to Togo, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, from Kinshasa as far as the Mugunga 3 camp for internally displaced persons. In the DRC, especially in Nord Kivu, conflicts have caused between three and five million deaths in nearly 20 years, after the Rwandan genocide, transforming horror into a morbid and daily routine. A subjective evocation as much as a stupefying documentation, 50 or so photos taken during his trip were selected by the artist to set out the markers of a journey to the heart of yesterday and today's exoduses. Equipped with audio guides, the spectators stroll through the twists and turns of an interior monologue, crossing modern colonial history and the personal narrative of a traveller. The voice of his companion, who stayed behind in Montreal, comes in as an echo with the serious and solitary experience of the alter ego character of Philippe Ducros. The title of the installation, The Gate of No Return, also rings out as a metaphor of this saga in the lands of impoverishment and violence from which the artist, as a human being, could not return unchanged. With his theatre for the ear, he invites us to a macroscopic, sensitive and critical view of a reality that is sometimes complaisantly concealed. RB


text, direction and photography Philippe Ducros
scenography collaboration Magalie Amyot
direction assistant Catherine Le Frenière
music Ludovic Bonnier
french version voice Étienne Pilon, Klervi Thienpont
english version voice Catherine Bérubé, Alex Ivanovici


production Hôtel-Motel
coproduction Festival TransAmériques (Montréal)
with the support of: Conseil des Arts du Canada et du Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec, Laboratoires Boréalis and of Encadrex



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