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L’atelier d’écriture

L’atelier d’écriture lisant, photographie de Mauricio Moretti

Sifiso Zimba, dramaturge et romancier, membre de l’atelier d’écriture animé par Jean-Baptiste Evette, raconte en anglais l’aventure d’écrire collectivement, en plusieurs langues, un spectacle pour marionnettes géantes. Il vient de Mohlakeng, qui fait partie de Johannesburg.


This is an introduction to where everything begin, the foundation of our story line.
This is were we find the story of our two lovers.
Our journey begins at day one, after a long meeting with the French team of Les Grandes Personnes, and a heated discussion about what the story line should be, with all French and South-Africans, a bunch of creative writers met around one long table surrounded by blue chairs, nice view form the 20th floor of Corner Wits.
This is where we found our story line involving 28 different characters as if that was not enough to worry about, a table surrounded by French speaking and a larger percentage of South African’s involving more than four South African languages. Under such an environment surrounded by opinions there was also so much to do. Our work begin by creating the two families of our lovers, finding descriptions for each of them, seek for their reasons and how they make our story go forward. Exhausting as it was after the first day, after so much skills and networking development of ideas, it was tools down.

It was interesting on the second day to have sculptors and fashion designers joining the writing workshop, bringing in their individual artistic skills and ideas. Amongst them, Bongile Funami Mkhize, Penelope Kuzwayo, Mercy Manci, Macdonald Mfolo, Mbali Ndlozi, Pascaline Phale, S’bu aka Isaac Sithole, Jean-Baptiste Evette, Pule Tseke, Sifiso Zimba and others from the Giant Match project.

L’atelier d’écriture lisant, photographie de Mauricio Moretti

Taking into consideration that love was part of our story line, it had to be dealt with in finding the path of our story, finding the resonant of the two parties (or two families). We searched every hidden corner of the story line, playing around characters, giving their WHO and WHY possibilities. Sooner that, it was time to make love to the words, writing the dialogue. Firstly, it’s always a pressure that comes with great rewards, having to create dialogues, having to make silent puppets chew words. So we took the simplest and exciting road “to make the story line belong to us”.

That’s how we wanted to paint the story, to tell a story that is owned by us, a story that involves a South African background. It’s no easy having to picture still giant puppets chewing dialogues, and that’s what our creativity focused , making the puppets come to life. A great experience with lots of ideas on the table, better ideas taken away from the best. After the first week that is expressed by the sun that has now started hiding from the mountains, taking away the brightness of Johannesburg with it, it was the end of the first week.

Essai de chanson pour Meet my in laws : a Giant Match

Busy week of ideas, design team confirm another costume colour. So many ideas were considered through the process of making the best production, from script writing to song writing. After all that agreeing and disagreeing came into one pool of sweat and gave birth to our first draft of “THE GIANT MATCH- MEET MY IN LAWS”. After reading the script a couple of times, the story was not done until we realised our bride is pregnant.

A day later we had to present the story to the whole team, including dialogues and songs and we made quite a sensation.
Sifiso Zimba