& Forms


Portrait & performance - 4 -

How long has the farm world been evolving? What about the end of Neolithic Era some philosophers and poets tell about, during which the “cultivating man”, i.e. the one who grows plants, is said to have statistically disappeared from the countryside? Is it possible to deal with the origins of farming activities in other ways than through versified myths or learned studies? Farmers: man and women of cultivation, language, gesture and art. It is interesting to notice that some Moroccan and French aged people declared “we used to be in cultivation” to say that they are retired farmers. Renée-Jeanne Faure from the French village of Limeyrat, Périgord, is one of them. She talks about land, territory, thwarted bilingualism, dance, breeding, art, the fear of getting old, transmission and memory. “Chafre” means the art of giving surnames in Occitan: creating a doppelganger, an alias... But isn't this playful duplicity a farmer’s trick to keep standing upright, to bend without breaking as an old supple tree would do? On stage, surrounded with images, sounds and singing, an actor and a dancer re-enact bits of Renée-Jeanne’s interview. What comes out is a form of narrative fatalism which, paradoxical as it may seem,  is full of hope.

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