Waiting for Godot - Haiti

Piroska E.Kiss
Presentation for the joint meeting of OISTAT Performance Design and OISTAT Research 2013, Shanghai, China

Haiti has always been one of the poorest countries. Three years ago Port au Prince, the capital, which was the epicentre of a serious earthquake, was completely destroyed. Haitians have been living on the ruins ever since, without running water, electricity, public transport, garbage collection, and afflicted by misery and epidemics.

 All the city dwellers of a big area of Port au Prince make artwork. Some of them make traditional artwork, like wood carvings, metal reliefs, or woodoo embroidery of pearls. Other artists practice contemporary art, they make reliefed pictures from fragments of tyre and sculptures from waste and human bones.

 This community of Haitian artists established the Ghetto Biennale. Artists whose application was accepted had to realise their artwork in PaP during December 2011. I met the community of downtown in Port au Prine that time, as a participant of the 2nd Ghetto Biennale. I was completely overwhelmed by this friendly community whose members help, support each other. They respect art and artists very much. Handicraft, fine art, music and dance are natural part of their lives.

But, there is no theatre. It has never been part of Haitien culture.

I’m sure that Port au Prince is the authentic scene of a performance of Waiting for Godot.

That’s what I would like to realise for the next Ghetto Biennale.

What kind of habits, actions and rituals that are close to a theatrical performance have I seen there?

What are the difficulties of accomplishing it?

What are the steps on the way to realising a performance?

What kind of scenography do I plan to use?

Why is it so exciting for me to make a performane in a community whose members have no idea about theatre?

Why am I thinking that this all is needed?


Click to Download: Waiting for Godot-Haiti


The photos are provided by Piroska E.Kiss.