© Anouk Maupu
© Anouk Maupu
© Anouk Maupu

Jolie Ngemi (CD/CH)



  • 40'
  • F Hearing-impaired spectators welcome
  • A Little or no text
  • B Accessible to persons with reduced mobility

Chorégraphie et interprétation: Jolie Ngemi. Dramaturge: Jeremy Nedd. Scénographie: Laura Knüsel. Création lumière et régie générale: Alain Caron. Production, administration et diffusion: Moin Moin Production - Caroline Froelich.

Production: Cie AUC. Coproductions: Arsenic – Centre d’art scénique contemporain, Kaserne Basel, STUK - Arts Center vzw, Charleroi-Danse - Centre chorégraphique de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, HAU Hebbel am Ufer. Soutiens: Ville de Lausanne, Loterie Romande, Canton of Basel-Landschaft, Fondation Ernst Göhner, Pro Helvetia- Soutien aux voyages de recherche.

Inspired by trance states, Nkisi* fetichism and rituals from the Congo, Jolie Ngemi draws on her roots to create a performance that touches on the invisible and visible boundaries of magical and spiritual practices.
Animist beliefs are still widely held in the Congo, but their expression is only a taboo, hidden or even cursed shadow in the face of the Christian religion, to which local populations were forced to convert during colonisation.
Convinced of the importance of these cultures as beacons in a world in crisis, Jolie Ngemi seeks to make this traditional Nkisi knowledge visible, to recall its beauty while reviving the flame of its healing power.
Today, who are these powerful Nkisi women, the intermediaries of occult forces, who at the time were the secret advisors of kings? What remains of these practices when most of the Nkisi statuettes have been stolen over the centuries, and are now kept in the museums of colonising countries?

*Nkisi is a word in Lingala, Jolie Ngemi’s mother tongue, which has many meanings. It can commonly mean “remedy”, “witch, sorcery”, “medicine”, or designate a sacred fetish (statuette).