6.45pm – 7.15pm
Evan Goh

Esplanade Concourse

6.45pm – 7.15pm
Evan Goh

Esplanade Concourse

7.45pm – 8.15pm
Evan Goh

Esplanade Concourse

Esplanade Presents


The Mining Trilogy: Mining Stories

Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere (Belgium)

28 Jul 2023, Fri, 8pm

29 Jul 2023, Sat, 8pm

View dates and time


(Intermission: None)

Esplanade Theatre Studio

This event is over.

Photo Credit: Tom Callemin
Photo Credit: Tom Callemin
Photo Credit: Hugo Cordeiro

“…innovative staging that is both thought-provoking and emotionally resonant… It’s a timely show about being human in a world of global capitalism and capricious fate, without ever feeling like one: quite an accomplishment.”
– The Irish Times


An aural tapestry of voices, each sharing their stories and perspective—when disaster strikes, what is remembered?


In November 2015, a dam containing toxic mining waste collapsed a few miles away from Belgium theatre artist Silke Huysmans’ childhood home in the South of Brazil. A devastating flood of mud destroyed several villages below the dam. In the next couple of days, the poisonous sludge flowed into the river Rio Doce and eventually reached the Atlantic Ocean. The ecological impact and environmental pollution was the largest ever recorded.


Silke returned to her hometown in Brazil together with her partner Hannes to talk to people affected by the incident and get a grip on its immense consequences. Back in Belgium, they did additional interviews with experts from various fields of knowledge, amongst others a mining expert, an activism researcher and an economics professor.


Using field recordings from their conversations in Brazil and Belgium, Mining Stories brings together multiple perspectives on the impact of the disaster. Each of the speakers tell the story of the disaster from their own context, with their own nuances and points of interest.


Moving deftly around a performance space, Silke silently activates these audio field recordings alongside multimedia projections. Like a conductor, she brings together these personal stories interwoven into an hour-long orchestral work composed of voices. At its heart, this documentary theatre performance lays bare the ripples of impact from a singular environmental disaster, crossing topics of memory, politics, religion, and storytelling.


Mining Stories was selected for Circuit X (Belgium) in 2017 and was awarded the main prize at Zürcher Theaterspektakel (Switzerland) in 2018 with the jury stating that “Huysmans and Dereere rely on an impressive yet simple staging, with an honest, ethical statement with regard to eco-political topics and issues.” 


Mining Stories, Pleasant Island, and Out of the Blue are part of a trilogy by Belgium theatre artists, Silke Huysmans & Hannes Dereere, that explores our human relationship with mining.


Created by Silke Huysmans, Hannes Dereere

Performance Silke Huysmans

Dramaturgical Advice Dries Douibi 

Technical Support Christoph Donse

Scenography Frédéric Aelterman, Luc Cools

Portuguese Transcriptions Luanda Casella, Miguel Cipriano

Production Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek, Bâtard Festival

Co-Production KAAP 

Supported by Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie, Sabam For Culture

Thanks to All Conversation Partners  

Admission Age:
6 and above.
Language: Portuguese, English and Dutch
Subtitle Language: English
Things to Note:
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Artist Information

Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere


Silke Huysmans (°Brazil, 1989) studied drama at KASK School of Arts Ghent and Hannes Dereere (°Belgium, 1990) theatre sciences at Ghent University. With their performances, the two Brussels-based makers investigate the use of journalistic and documentary elements within theatre. Underlying their work is extensive field research that they use to shape their projects. Since 2016, they have been working on a trilogy involving long-term research on mining. 


In 2016, the first part Mining Stories premiered at the Bâtard Festival in Brussels. For this performance, Silke and Hannes returned to the place where she grew up in Brazil. In 2015, a dam burst flooded this place with toxic mining waste, causing one of the biggest ecological mining disasters in recent history. Mining Stories was selected for Circuit X/Het Theater Festival 2017 (Belgium) and received the main prize at the Zürcher Theaterspektakel 2018 (Switzerland). 


In 2019 the second part Pleasant Island premiered at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels. In this performance, island state Nauru holds up a mirror to the world. Nauru was once a paradise in the Pacific. After decades of colonisation and mining, this island is literally at its water's edge due to rising sea levels.


Out of the Blue concludes the trilogy. In this final piece Silke and Hannes look at the future of mining. Through interviews and conversations, they sketch an in-depth portrait of an emerging industry: deep sea mining. The piece premiered at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in May 2022. 

Date & Time

28 Jul 2023, Fri


Esplanade Theatre Studio

29 Jul 2023, Sat


Esplanade Theatre Studio
Tickets & Prices

Students, NSFs, Seniors & PWDs

Cat 1 $38 $30

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  • Concession Ticket

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Esplanade&Me Specials

Early Bird (11 – 28 May 2023, limited tickets)
Black: 20% savings
White: 15% savings
Discover: 10% savings


From 29 May 2023, 9am
Black: 15% savings  
White: 10% savings
Discover: 5% savings


Applicable to Standard tickets only. Terms and Conditions apply.

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Esplanade&Me Discover The Studios Special

Enjoy savings with purchase of 4 or more tickets to the same show or across applicable shows (The Mining Trilogy: Mining StoriesThe Mining Trilogy: Pleasant IslandThe Mining TrilogyOut of the BlueThree Years in the Life and Death of LandMosaic and ALBIZIA).


Early Bird (11 – 28 May, limited tickets) 

Discover: 15% savings


From 29 May, 9am

Discover: 10% savings


Applicable to Standard tickets only. Terms and Conditions apply.

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Tote Board Arts Grant


All Upper Secondary Schools, Junior Colleges/ Centralised Institute & ITEs may use the Tote Board Arts Grant to subsidise up to 50% of the programme cost. 


For more details, please contact Esplanade Box Office at 6828 8389 or email boxoffice@esplanade.com.


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