Esplanade Presents


The Mining Trilogy: Out of the Blue

Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere / CAMPO (Belgium)

5 Aug 2023, Sat, 8pm

6 Aug 2023, Sun, 3pm


(Intermission: None)

Esplanade Theatre Studio

This event is over.

Photo Credit: Loes Geuens
Photo Credit: Loes Geuens
Photo Credit: Loes Geuens

"An example of a poignant socially engaged show. Investigative journalism at its best."



"The brilliant form the artists have found, illuminate unknown territories both in the ocean and in ourselves, exposing a complexity that forces us to think"

Springback Magazine


As interviews, conversations and footage flash across a series of screens, an intimate portrait of a new industry emerges.


“We know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the bottom of the ocean.” This statement is often heard when talking about the deep sea. Worldwide, only ten percent of the ocean floor has been mapped and explored. At a moment in history when the planet we live on seems to have been explored extensively, some places remain unstudied and untouched.


After their acclaimed performances Mining Stories and Pleasant Island, Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere present the final part of their trilogy on mining. This time, they focus on a completely new industry: deep sea mining. With resources on land becoming increasingly scarce and overexploited, mining companies turn towards the ocean.


In the spring of 2021, three ships gather on a remote patch of the Pacific Ocean. One of them belongs to the Belgian dredging company DEME-GSR. Four kilometres below the sea surface, their mining robot is scraping the seabed in search of metals. On another ship, an international team of marine biologists and geologists keep a close watch on the operation. A third ship completes the fleet: on board the infamous Rainbow Warrior, Greenpeace activists protest against this potential future industry.


From their small apartment in Brussels, Silke and Hannes connect with the three ships through satellite. Each of the ships represents one pillar of the public debate: industry, science and activism. The piece is an attempt to capture a potentially pivotal moment in the history of the earth, juxtaposing myriad perspectives by presenting visual media and audio recordings side by side. How much deeper can mining companies dig, and what are we as humankind actually digging towards? What are the challenges and risks? What opportunities potentially lay ahead?


Out of the Blue premiered at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts on 19 May 2022. 


Mining StoriesPleasant 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.


By & With Silke Huysmans & Hannes Dereere

Dramaturgy Dries Douibi

Sound Mix Lieven Dousselaere

Outside Eye Pol Heyvaert

Technique korneel Coessens, Piet Depoortere, Koen Goossens & Babette Poncelet

Production CAMPO

Co-Production Bunker (Ljubljana), De Brakke Grond (Amsterdam), Noorderzon - Festival Of Performing Arts And Society (Groningen), Zürcher Theater Spektakel (Zürich), Beursschouwburg & Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), PACT Zollverein (Essen), Théâtre De La Ville (Paris) & Festival d’Automne À Paris (Paris)

Residencies Kunstenwerkplaats, Pilar, Bara142 (Toestand), De Grote Post, 30CC, GC De Markten & GC Felix Sohie


Special Thanks to John Childs, Henko De Stigter, Patricia Esquete, Iason-Zois Gazis, Jolien Goossens, Matthias Haeckel, An Lambrechts, Ted Nordhaus, Maureen Penjueli, Surabhi Ranganathan, Duygu Sevilgen, Joey Tau, Saskia Van Aalst, Kris Van Nijen, Vincent Van Quickenborne & Annemiek Vink


Thanks to All Conversation Partners & The People Who Helped With The Transcriptions  

Admission Age:
6 and above.
Language: English and Dutch
Subtitle Language: English
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Artist Information

Silke Huysmans & 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

5 Aug 2023, Sat


Esplanade Theatre Studio

6 Aug 2023, Sun


Esplanade Theatre Studio
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