2023  -  Performance

Mémé is a solo performance by Sarah Vanhee, with guest appearances by puppets, ghosts and her child. Made in collaboration with puppeteer Toztli Abril de Dios and sound artist Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti, the piece is an intergenerational, multi-layered and plurilingual work about the relationship to the ancestors, to the (native) soil and to the female body, starring the spirits of Vanhee's West Flemish grandmothers who – like many women of that time – spent most of their lives ‘laboring’, in the two senses of the word: bearing and raising children; and working in the home and ‘on the land’ – always in service of others.

How does today’s world relate to those forgotten women of the past, and to the earth they cultivated? And how do we see them reflected in the forgotten women of today, whose labor and labor are still being exploited?  

Mémé is an ode to those invisibilized women - to the earth, to life itself -both emotional and intellectual- to work and pleasure. It is a ritual attempt by Vanhee to bring her grandmothers back to life, re-connect, repair, and then – differently – say goodbye again, in a world outside time. Ghosts appear where there is suffering that needs to be heard and named.  Mémé gently encourages us to rediscover our capacity to care for others as for ourselves.

photos © Bea Borgers