Capital Critics' Circle
Le cercle des critiques de la capitale

Reviewing Theatre in Canada's Capital Region
La critique théâtrale de la région Ottawa-Gatineau

The Door of No Return: Performing Colonial Memory.

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Reviewed by Kat Fournier

Photo: THE DOOR OF NO-RETURN, Democratic Republic of Congo. © Philippe Ducros, 2010

La porte du non-retour (The Door of no return) refers to monuments on the west coast of Africa erected in memory of the millions of slaves deported from Africa to America. Once they passed through the door, they knew that they would never come back. Director and photographer Philippe Ducros presents his  life-changing trip to the Congo in the form of a  multi-media photo-exhibition that  converges with  history, storytelling and landscape  to become a haunting narrative related to the slave trade.

The event  presents the story of a Canadian man who  visits  the Congo to witness the shattered world left in the wake of its  colonial history. Two voices guide the tour: the male voice represents Philippe Ducros, the female voice  represents his girlfriend who corresponds with him from Canada.  In the scope of this piece, she represents the safety and comfort of home, and ultimately the naivety of the distant observer. While she stays home, reaching out to him through letters or phone calls, he is drawn further into a nightmare from which he cannot wake.

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