With La Bombe humaine [The Human Bomb], Eline Schumacher and Vincent Hennebicq tackle the issue of climate change. Vincent Hennebicq looks back on these encounters, hence the hope in human beings, the main actor of change.
In our era of information overload, we know everything that is happening in the world and we are aware that everything, that every act has its consequences. So why do we refuse to see that we’re going straight into the wall, that we have passed the point of no return? We talk a lot about global warming, yet on a daily basis we do nothing, at least we do not put things in place to slow it down.
The show is punctuated by encounters which are different ways of approaching these questions.
We met with a psychologist to ask her why we went into denial so quickly. Climatologists have explained to us very clearly what’s happening to our planet. We approached people, people on the street, to discuss what they thought about it all.
We listened to Adélaïde Charlier, the Francophone coordinator of Youth for climate for Belgium, questioned a MEP on what is still possible to do politically.
In an exchange with François Gemenne, member of the IPCC *, we asked him what it would take for people to realize that something terrible is happening. And he answered us: a health crisis, an epidemic. This was in March, a few days before the first confinement. Right when we were creating this piece.
Since the show is split into two parts, like two episodes of a podcast, we came to the end of the first episode which is called L’Effondrement [The Collapse]. The highlight of this first part was going to be the Salon du survivalisme [survival expo] which would have been held in Paris on March 24. We were going to meet a whole series of survivalists. Obviously we couldn't do it.
But we struck on. We stayed with this two-part concept, thinking that, even if we were stuck in lockdown, we were going to work on these Utopies réalistes [realistic utopias], just as we had plannned, and to meet other people, but this time with people who are trying to build the world differently. We would have done it ‘in real life’ but in the end it was done by Skype, Zoom, or just with books.
— Interview on November 23, 2020.
* The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was created in 1988 to provide detailed assessments of the state of scientific, technical and socio-economic knowledge on climate change, its causes, potential repercussions and coping strategies. www.ipcc.ch
Eline Schumacher and Olivia Carrère at work on La Bombe humaine [The Human Bomb] in the Grande salle.
Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles, December 2020.