What remains of the amazement experienced in the face of news items? On May 17, 2018, two-year-old Mawda Shamdin Ali is in a van headed back to England with her parents, brother and around 20 other people. The police are chasing the van. On the E42, near Mons, a new police car drives up. A policeman shoots. The bullet hits Mawda in the head. She is dead. Her parents and brother are arrested and placed in detention.
Mawda, ça veut dire tendresse (Mawda means tenderness) stems from the stubbornness of director and actress Marie-Aurore D’Awans, filmmaker and journalist Pauline Beugnies, and playwright Kristin Rogghe. With method, they gather the facts, interview, follow the tenuous thread of the trials in Liège and Mons. They look around them to highlight what is failing: the unequal treatment between the protagonists, the “dehumanization of migrants which continues right up to the court”. They distil the reverse shot, entering into conversation with Mawda’s parents or dissecting the media theories - erroneous and denounced - of the ”shield child”.
What Marie-Aurore D’Awans, Pauline Beugnies and Kristin Rogghe are saying is something that has been said little if at all. They want to tell the story of Mawda, whose Kurdish parents Prhast and Shamden had to flee Iraqi Kurdistan because they could not get married there. To tell the story of the big brother that this drama marked forever. From the white van, by elevating the spoken word above the news item, they inscribe the documented theatre in a larger totality than the simple reconstruction of the facts.
Co-directed by KVS, Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles
fr, nl, en surtitling fr, nl, en
Mieke De Groote
Zakaria Hamdard (alternating)
Victoire de Changy
Light design and Light operato
Sasker Van de Ven
Claire Tarring (FR/ENG)
Alex Stockman (FR/NL)
Anne Vanderschueren (NL/FR)
Khanda Hussein (SORANI/FR)
Fakhri Snawbar (SORANI/NL)
Ella De Gregoriis
Nadia El Mahi
Technical production and Stage management
Distribution & tour management
Perpodium, Mars, Mons arts de la scène, Le Rideau de Bruxelles, Maison de la culture de Tournai/Maison de création
With help from
Théâtre des Doms (Avignon), la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles - Service Générale de la Création Artistique - Direction du Théâtre, Tax Shelter van de Belgische Federale Overheid via Cronos Invest