Echo Chambers Making sense of destruction

Echo Chambers: Making sense of destruction

The conflict-torn Middle East is as bloody as it is hopeless. Rise to Free Space, the space echo chambers skillfully and relentlessly he observes the devastation of the war in Syria, the disintegration of the Lebanese state and the harmful influence of the West.

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Philippe Ducros was inspired to write this work, which he directs, by his own experiences in these countries. In this autofiction he sets out in 2019 to visit Samia, a friend he had known in Syria some 15 years earlier and with whom he corresponds via social networks. She’s the only one she knows who stayed there despite the civil war that raged there. However, he has to pass through Lebanon, which is gripped by popular uprisings.

This simple framework is frequently interspersed with remarks on the region’s past and present, particularly the Arab Spring that raised so many hopes in the 2010s. This speech denounces Western and American imperialism without blaming tyrants and other actors veils that pull the strings to the detriment of suffering people.

Everything is beautifully rendered through a scenography based on a palette of archive images that plunge us into the heart of chaos.

Étienne Pilon plays the main character, a Philippe helpless in the face of so much terror trying to understand what is happening before his eyes. The actor is joined by Mounia Zahzam, who plays Samia but is also a narrator. Without appearing transcendent, they offer a solid performance.

Committed approach

The strength of this production lies above all in its dedicated approach to show those forces that get the blood flowing. Geopolitical references are omnipresent. History and current affairs fans will be delighted. However, the sheer number of politicians, groups and movements discussed overwhelms those less familiar with these issues.

By showing diverging interests in this quilt, the author nevertheless manages to underscore the complexity of the path to be followed in order to find compromises. The playwright also addresses the difficulty of getting out of his own echo chamber to make sense of all this destruction. This harsh but essential proposal is therefore a beautiful tribute to all those populations who still suffer from indifference and for whom peace seems far away.

Echo Chambers ★★★1⁄2

  • Directed by Philippe Ducros
  • With Etienne Pilon and Mounia Zahzam

♦ Echo chambers will be presented until March 4, 2023.