Daphné BIIGA NWANAK
Daphné received a grant to help her study at the Théâtre National de Strasbourg.
What is your artistic background ?
I started acting at the Ecole de la Comédie de Reims, where I studied it in conjunction with philosophy in the literary preparatory class, then I became an actress in Paris. There, I had decisive meetings with directors such as Bob Wilson and Maxime Kurvers. I completed my study of philosophy at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. I was then no longer satisfied with my position as a performer and joined the Ecole du Théâtre National de Strasbourg. I then wanted to develop my own tools to write my plays. I hope that my position as an actress will offer me a creative space equivalent to that of the authors and directors with whom I interact. My artistic journey is thus that of a young woman who is constantly looking for the most appropriate way of speaking, constantly asking herself "how do I say things?". I see my artistic journey as a series of encounters with Art, encounters that I do not necessarily intend as an artist. Moreover, I have noticed that "the greatest", particularly directors, were above all great spectators. My artistic career is therefore also linked to Jérôme Bel, Guy Debord, Aimé Césaire, Jeanne Moreau, Rainer Maria Rilke, Walter Benjamin, Jimi Hendrix, Charlotte Salomon, Antony and the Johnsons, Maguy Marin, Jacques Demy, Bob Wilson, Michel Foucault, Sylvia Plath, Marie-Agnès Gillot, Edouard Levé, Paul Eluard, Spike Lee, Stéphane Breton, Cheikh Hamidou Kane, Jorge Luis Borges, Maurice Maeterlinck, Sophie Calle, James Baldwin, Bruno Meyssat, Marie Ndiaye, Pol Bury, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Samuel Beckett, Jean Rouch, Shirley Clarke, Georges Perec, Eliane Radigue, Claude Simon, Pina Bausch, Hildegarde de Bingen, Miles Davis, Michel Foucault, Tadeusz Kantor, Walter Benjamin, Alain Platel, Delphine Seyrig, Brigitte Fontaine, Christophe Tarkos, Klaus Michael Grüber, Valérie Dréville, John Cage, Chris Marker, Fernando Pessoa, Berthold Brecht, Hölderlin and my father.
How do you see your profession today ?
If I absolutely have to think of Art as a profession, I would say that I am struck by the place it occupies in the public sphere and possibly against general opinion. For the greatest artists, in terms of spaces of expression and influence, I think that we rub shoulders with and surpass the professions of politics and religion. I am fascinated by the topicality of the gesture that is the word in theatre. I don't know whether my view of my profession is critical, demanding, admiring or investigative. It is nevertheless certain that I see it from this precise place: how do we use this power that the community gives us? It is indeed a look, yes, because this question has almost become a criterion in my appreciation of performances.
How do you see yourself in five years ? In 10 years ?
I won't be able to say how I see myself in two days, 10 years or six centuries. So far, life has had more imagination than I have. It has surprised and disconcerted me every time I thought I could understand it, to the point of formulating its logic. Life has no logic. I only hope to greet the future with an ever-growing sense of it and to remain aware of how much my personal journey depends on the circumstances in which it is taken. My work is not independent of the ecological situation that is looming, of Youtube, of police violence, of reflection on gender issues, of the policy of reception of asylum seekers, of the influence of smartphones on writing, of the intermittent nature of the show and of the death of Claude Lanzmann. I simply see myself continuing to age, tied to the rhythm of the age of the world itself.
This interview was conducted in 2019
Photo credit: Céline Anaya Gautier