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Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles

Mawda, ça veut dire tendresse

Marie-Aurore D’Awans
Pauline Beugnies

01 > 10.12.2022

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.

Production KVS
Co-directed by KVS, Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles


  • - 14:00

    Afternoon performance

  • - 20:30
  • - 20:30
  • - 15:00
  • - 20:30
  • - 19:30

    Discussion after the show

  • - 20:30

    Introduction · 20:00 + discussion after the show

  • - 20:30

    Discussion after the show

  • - 20:30



fr, nl, en surtitling fr, nl, en






Marie-Aurore D’Awans
Pauline Beugnies

Mostafa Benkerroum
Aicha Cissé

Mieke De Groote
Thierry Hellin
Deborah Rouach
Leopold Terlinden
Melodie Valemberg
Zakaria Hamdard

Kristin Rogghe

Dramaturgy Assistant
Lieselore Remans

Zoé Tenret

Scenography advisor
Eugenio Szwarcer

Victoire de Changy
Maud Vanhauwaert

Elise Abraham
Heidi Ehrhart

Light design and Light operato
Pier Gallen
Ralf Nonn

Assistant Lights
Justine Hautenauve

Music creation
Malena Sardi

Sound operator
Bram Moriau

Video direction
Thibaud Decoene

Tristan Galand
Thibaud Decoene

Marleen Adriaensens
Hussein Ali
Mesut Alp
Saif Al-Qaissy
Camille Crucifix
Nyira Hens
Ismaïl L’Hamiti
Purni Morell
Sophie Sénécault
Joeri Smet
Frances Timberlake
Hussein Rassim
Christian Roe
Sasker Van de Ven

Costume Design
Elise Abraham

Inge Floré 

Claire Tarring (FR/ENG)
Alex Stockman (FR/NL)
Anne Vanderschueren (NL/FR)
Khanda Hussein (SORANI/FR)
Fakhri Snawbar (SORANI/NL)

Production director
Ella De Gregoriis
Nadia El Mahi

Technical production and Stage management
Ivan Fox
Davy Deschepper
Bram Moriau

Distribution & tour management
Saskia Liénard


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

© Gloria Scorier