Memories of Sarajevo

  • Theatre
  • Show
The 2017 archive

Le Birgit Ensemble

Paris / Created in 2017

Memories of Sarajevo © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


The siege of Sarajevo began in 1992, two months after the signature of the Maastricht Treaty, which turned the European Community into the European Union. This pact, this transformation and its consequences would affect absolutely everyone. A response to the decisions and indecisions of the European institutions, to a history that most don't know very well, Memories of Sarajevo is a historical epic which gives voice to the besieged. In that city lying at the bottom of a basin where the hills make for an ideal sniper perch, directors Julie Bertin and Jade Herbulot visited libraries and archives and listened to countless witness accounts, in order to try to answer this question: “How to embrace this piece of history that isn't really ours by turning it into a story we could tell?” On the stage, the façade of a building, its inhabitants in the street below. Above them, European and international leaders meet, unable to find a solution to the crisis. The Birgit Ensemble is from this generation born in the European Union who feels that the anger and frustration caused by the Union's tentativeness must be channeled to think up new forms of political, but also artistic, organisation. Memories of Sarajevo and In the ruins of Athens are the last two parts of the tetralogy Europe, My Love.


Julie Bertin
After studying philosophy at the University Paris I-Sorbonne, Julie Bertin joined the Studio Théâtre in Asnières in 2009, before joining the Conservatoire national supérieur d'art dramatique two years later. She started her career as a director with an adaptation of Frank Wedekind's Spring Awakening, before creating Berliner Mauer: vestiges with Jade Herbulot. The company they founded, Le Birgit Ensemble, creates shows that question and recount the story of Europe since 1945. They created a second show, Pour un Prélude (For a Prelude) in 2015, and are finishing a tetralogy called Europe, My Love with Memories of Sarajevo and In the ruins of Athens, both created for the 71st edition of the Festival d'Avignon. As an actress, Julie Bertin has appeared in Le Dilemme du poisson-chat (The Catfish's Dilemma), written and directed by Kevin Garnichat at the Studio Théâtre in Asnières, and in L'Héritier de village (The Heir of the Village), directed by Sandrine Anglade, created at the centre Georges Simenon in Rosny-sous-Bois, and which toured France in 2016 and 2017.


Jade Herbulot
Like her colleague and teammate, Jade Herbulot joined the Studio Théâtre in Asnières after studying literature at the École normale supérieure in Lyon. Her meeting with Clara Hédouin led to their adapting and directing The Three Musketeers – The series, based on Alexandre Dumas's novel, as a series of shows performed in public places. After training at the Conservatoire national supérieur d'art dramatique and founding the Birgit Ensemble with Julie Bertin in 2013, they decided to ignore the fourth wall and the contemplative aspect of theatre to create a more direct relationship with the audience and make their active participation an entire aspect of their direction. Their company is made up of artists born between 1986 and 1990, who share an understanding of the world and of the place current topics can have in their work. As an actress, Jade Herbulot has appeared notably in Marivaux's Infidelities at the Théâtre des Quartiers d'Ivry, directed by Adel Hakim (2015), and in an adaptation of The Iliad by director Pauline Bayle (2016), which was created at the Théâtre de Belleville and later toured France.


Design and direction Julie Bertin and Jade Herbulot / Le Birgit Ensemble
Music Grégoire Letouvet, Romain Maron
Stage design Camille Duchemin
Lights Grégoire de Lafond
Video Pierre Nouvel
Sound Marc Bretonnière
Costumes Camille Aït-Allouache
Assistant director Margaux Eskenazi

With Eléonore Arnaud, Lou Chauvain, Pauline Deshons, Pierre Duprat, Anna Fournier, Kevin Garnichat, Lazare Herson-Macarel, Timothée Lepeltier, Élise Lhomeau, Antoine Louvard, Estelle Meyer, Morgane Nairaud, Loïc Riewer, Marie Sambourg


Production Le Birgit Ensemble
Co-production Festival d'Avignon, MC2 : Grenoble, Scène nationale d'Aubusson, Théâtre des Quartiers d'Ivry Centre dramatique national du Val-de-Marne, La Pop, La Comédie de Caen Centre dramatique national, TU-Nantes, Théâtre de Châtillon, Le POC d'Alfortville, Théâtre Gérard Philipe de Champigny-sur-Marne, Les Plateaux Sauvages (Paris), Copilote
With the support of Drac Île-de-France, Conseil départemental du Val-de-Marne, Spedidam, SACD and for the 71st edition of the Festival d'Avignon : Adami, Spedidam
With the participation of Jeune théâtre national

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The 2017 archive