Encore! – Avignon’s 76th Theatre Festival: Kubra Khademi on Afghanistan’s heroines
Avignon may be France’s oldest arts festival, but it has a resolutely contemporary approach to the dramatic arts, with experimental performances that draw on dance, theatre and poetic traditions. We sit down with multidisciplinary artist Kubra Khademi, whose performance “From Armour to Jackets” kicks off the festival, to hear about the military detritus that became a poignant symbol of the American retreat from her native Afghanistan. Kubra talks about being forced to flee Kabul after a controversial artistic performance in 2015 and discusses how the Taliban have now left Afghans “trapped in their own country”.
Festival director Olivier Py is handing over the reins to Tiago Rodrigues after nine years of administering this cultural marathon. He tells us how the war in Ukraine prompted him to stage a special cabaret show with Kyiv’s Dakh Daughters troupe and musician Angélique Kidjo.
We also check out Amir Reza Koohestani’s latest play “In Transit”, which asks important questions about identity and exile. And choreographer Adèle Duportal explores feminism and sorcery in an intimate, one-woman show.