April 20 – 23, 2021 at 7 p.m.
CUlturgest, Lisbon, Portugal
The Laughter of the Scavengers sprang from the discovery of the remains of the Trindade War on the island of São Tomé. Directed by Zia Soares and with music by Xullaji, the show brings us the memories of those who lived through the war and those who heard tales of the event, accounts that have gradually become blurred by the passage of time.
In this war, the dead were piled up in mass graves or thrown into the depths of the sea, in an exercise of violence perpetrated by the invaders who believed that by stripping the dead of their names they would condemn them to oblivion. But these dead bodies remain as a permanent symbol of the massacre, and each year, on 3 February, in order to celebrate their memory, the inhabitants of São Tomé and Príncipe engage in a ritualistic procession, parading for several hours. It is a funeral march that amplifies the spoken words, songs, laughter and sounds emitted by the convulsive bodies.
The Laughter of the Scavengers is a continuation of this entropic, celebratory march, in which the performers manipulate times and images, remove the flesh from the bones of the bodies and laugh deliriously, reconfiguring the remains and fragments from the slaughter, based on the idea of a celebration – the festivities and the liturgy, together with the ritualistic aspects of everyday life.
Teatro GRIOT is a company of actors whose work springs from the tension between body and territory, individual and collective imaginations, operating in a space at the point of intersection between geographical and symbolic territories, regarded as the nerve centre of an artistic movement of counter-memory.
STAGE DIRECTION: Zia Soares
TEXT: Alda Espírito Santo, Conceição Lima, Zia Soares
WITH: Benvindo Fonseca, Binete Undonque, Daniel Martinho, Gio Lourenço, Mick Trovoada, Neusa Trovoada, Vera Cruz, Xullaji, Zia Soares
ORIGINAL MUSIC: Xullaji
SCENERY AND COSTUMES: Neusa Trovoada
LIGHTING DESIGN: Jorge Ribeiro
MOVEMENT: Lucília Raimundo
SUPPORT FOR THE MOVEMENT: Marcus Veiga
SCENERY CONSTRUCTION AND ASSEMBLY: Carlos Caetano – Construções Ilimitadas
FIGURINE PRODUCTION: Aldina Jesus Atelier
PHOTOGRAPHY: Sofia Berberan
VIDEO: António Castelo
GRAPHIC DESIGN: Neusa Trovoada
EXECUTIVE PRODUCTION: Célia Pires
PRODUCTION: Teatro GRIOT
SUPPORTS: Academia Arte&Dança, Associação Mén Non, Batoto Yetu, Câmara Municipal Moita, Carlos Caetano – Construções Ilimitadas, Centro Cultural Malaposta, DeVIR/CAPa – Centro de Artes Performativas do Algarve, Foundation Obras, Hangar, Junta de Freguesia Misericórdia, Khapaz, Polo Cultural Gaivotas Boavista, República Democrática de São Tomé e Príncipe – Embaixada em Portugal, ROÇAMUNDO-Associação para Cultura e Desenvolvimento, TerranoMedia.
Teatro GRIOT is funded by the Portuguese Government – Ministry of Culture/ Directorate-General for the Arts, and Lisbon Municipal Council