Carte noire nommée désir
Carte noire nommée désir
Carte noire nommée désir
Carte noire nommée désir
Carte noire nommée désir
Creation November 2021 On tour seasons 21-22, 22-23, 23-24, 24-25


On Tour

Les 2 et 3 février 2024 — Le Volcan, SN du Havre
Les 25 et 26 avril 2024 — Théâtre 71, SN de Malakoff

As with a 'carte blanche' that extends an invitation to create, I want to invite, for Carte Noire nommée Désir, a cast exclusively composed of Black assigned female at birth.

The stage setup mimics a bi-frontal arrangement: an 'audience' of Black women facing the rest of the audience, both witnessing a performative piece that addresses the construction of desire in these aforementioned Black women. Non-diversity is an essential tool for the empowerment of marginalized groups (homosexual, Black, Women...). This arrangement does not seek to oppose its audiences but to highlight their different perceptions (temporal, spatial, emotional) based on the space they occupy and to specify the boundaries of an encounter between these two 'audiences.' Because, if one had to insist, this is nothing more than orchestrating a meeting. 

The textual material, initially worked on with my partner in crime Aurore Déon, and of which we are attaching excerpts, will at times burst from this central performative space. Here, we interrogate the way our desire has been constructed in relation to contradictory injunctions. 'The body of the Black woman,' as if there was only one.

The title is also a malevolent homage to the 1990s advertising of the famous coffee brand Carte Noire. Having observed for years the proliferation of qualifiers used to describe non-white skins by comparing them to names of sweet foods or hot beverages and continuing my work already well underway on my relationship with material and food, I couldn't resist countering this irony of commerce: the very same foods that enslaved our Black ancestors during colonization - sugar, coffee, cocoa - by creating a scenography of a white, milky, and icy space. 

I plan to work with two plastic artists and culinary designers, Luz Moreno and Anaïs Silvestro from Tools of Food. Wonderful visual and olfactory landscapes, composed of icy, gelatinous, chocolaty, and earthy materials which will be used as tools in the performance. In this space, the melting materials will be timed, and the edible decorations will be consumed, shared in real time, induced by the performative act. Time stretches like the patiently braided hair strands on the walls of the theatre, constructing the labyrinth of these two 'Black Alices' in Wonderland.

So, this is about encounters: first, the meeting of experienced or amateur performers whose practices, like mine, are intertwined with their personal stories, coming together around the questions raised here. Then it's also the meeting of one audience with another, in order to create a pan-African feminist story: a Carte Noire... nommée Désir (Black Card… named Desire).

Text and staging by Rébecca Chaillon
With Estelle Borel, Rébecca Chaillon, Aurore Déon, Maëva Husband taking turns with Olivia Mabounga, Ophélie Mac, Makeda Monnet, Fatou Siby, Davide-Christelle Sanvee
Role created by Bebe Melkor-Kadior
Dramaturgy Céline Champinot
Assistant staging Olivia Mabounga and Jojo Armaing
Stage design Camille Riquier and Shehrazad Dermé
Sound design and management Elisa Monteil and Issa Gouchène
Stage management Suzanne Péchenart
Light design and operation Myriam Adjalle
Construction Samuel Chenier and Baptiste Odet
Artistic collaborations Aurore Déon, Suzanne Péchenart
Production / Development L’Oeil Ecoute – Mara Teboul & Elise Bernard
Tour management / Communication
L’Oeil Ecoute – Mara Teboul & Élise Bernard