Let us believe in the beginning of the cold season

    11/05  | 20:30
    13/05  | 19:00
    14/05  | 18:00
    15/05  | 20:30
    16/05  | 12:30
    16/05  | 20:30
    17/05  | 20:30

€ 17 / € 13
1h30
EN/NL/Farsi > FR/NL/EN

Theatre-maker and actress Sachli Gholamalizad was born in Iran and raised in Belgium. In her solo Let us believe in the beginning of the cold season, she sings the praises of two prominent Iranian women artists: Googoosh and Forough Farrokhzad. Through pop music and poetry, their words gave shape to the lives of generations of men and women, among them Gholamalizad’s mother and grandmother. Thanks to the depiction of forbidden worlds, both women learned to appropriate their body once again. Gholamalizad weaves this heritage with contemporary feminist voices into a layered musical performance. She explores what it means to live as a woman today. Supported by strong women from different traditions, she formulates future definitions of womanhood, feminism and love.

With: Sachli Gholamalizad
Direction: Sachli Gholamalizad, Maryam Kamal Hedayat
Dramaturgy: Tunde Adefioye, Maryam Kamal Hedayat, Selm Wenselaers
Music and soundscape: Jan De Vroed
Video design: Steven Brys
Video editing: Moj Bahadori
Scenography: David Konix
Costume Design: Heidi Ehrhart
Choreography: Gilles Polet
Light Design: Helmi Demeulemeester
Sound: Patrick Van Neck
Technical coordination: Lieven Symaeys, Steven Brys
Production manager: Miek Scheers
Translations: Moj Bahadori, Anne Vanderschueren, Trevor Perri, Tineke de Meyer
Surtitles: Tineke De Meyer
Diffusion and tour management: Saskia Liénard 
Assistant dramaturg: Lindsay Jacobs 
Research assistants: Esther Lamberigts, Bo Alfaro Decreton
Residencies: UCLA / Marike Splint, Teatro Español, Jardin Sahél / Fernando Rubio
Special thanks to: Shokat Armon, Zeynab Hamedani Mojarad, Michael De Cock, Eric Reid, Aarich Jespers, Filip Wauters, Eric Thielemans, Peter Dombernowsky, Joe novelli, Nikolaj Heyman, Lisa Gamble, Tim Vandenbergh, Peter Dombernowsky, Charo Calvo, Sebastiaan Van den Branden, Sholeh Wolpé, Prof. Farzaneh Milani, Wouter Hillaert

Presentation: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, KVS
Production: KVS
Coproduction: Perpodium, Theater Rotterdam, Vooruit 
With the support of: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government 

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Sachli Gholamalizad is a theatre creator and works in film and television as an actress. She studied theatre at RITCS in Brussels and took acting classes from Jack Waltzer in Paris. In 2013 she created her first play, A Reason to Talk, as the first part of a trilogy. The production won a number of prizes (Fringe First 2015, Circuit X, Roel Verniers, Shortlist Amnesty International, ...), toured in several places and was met with great enthusiasm. In 2016 she created the follow-up (Not) My Paradise. She is one of the KVS faces, and is artist in residence at Vooruit in Ghent for the coming five years. In May 2019 her third solo performance Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season premieres at KVS and Kunstenfestivaldesarts. Sachli Gholamalizad can often be seen on the big screen. She plays in Brian De Palma’s new film Domino (2019) and Mijke De Jong’s Layla M (2016). She also acts in various (inter)national television series, including Stockholm Requiem (2019), Bullets (2018), De Twaalf, Loslopend Wild (2012-2018). She took on a lead role in De Bunker (2015). She tours internationally with her plays. In previous years she performed amongst others in Toronto (Canada), Buenos Aires (FIBA), Barcelona (GREC Festival) and at the Edinburgh Fringe. Besides her work in theatre and film, she also writes a column for MO* Magazine

Faegheh Atashin (born 5 May 1950) aka Googoosh is an Iranian pop diva, actress and icon who, in the words of many Iranians, “grew up before our eyes with us”. From a very young age, Googoosh  could be found on stage. During the fifties and sixties, she was the Iranian population’s sweetheart. After the 1979 revolution, when female singers became outlawed, she decided to stay in Iran regardless and to quit performing. It wasn’t until many years later, around 2000, that she started touring again – albeit abroad. She has been singing to sold-out venues worldwide ever since. Googoosh’s allure is not limited to her identity as a pop icon and diva. She is a role model for many women inside and outside Iran. Since the revolution, she has taken up a prominent place as a herald of nostalgia. Iranians like listening to her for her powerful melodies and warm voice, but also because she takes them back to their childhood. Young Iranians are transported to the Iran their parents grew up in. For the majority of Iranians, Googoosh will always be the greatest. She will always be unique – a once in a lifetime phenomenon. 

The cold winter months are when we learn most about who we are and who we have become. At least, if we have the luxury and privilege of looking back. Iranian poet and filmmaker Forough Farrokhzad, writer of the poem Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season, did not have that luxury. She died after a car accident at the age of 32. We know from her poems that she lived through many a cold season. At the same time, her progressive lifestyle and feminist ideals have brought warmth to many. She was well ahead of her time and wrote about her experiences without any taboos, although critics were not ready to embrace her innovative style. Her words, travels and films didn’t only shed light on what it should and could mean to live fully as a woman, she also pointed out social ills in others. Before American human rights activist Kimberlé Crenshaw came up with the term intersectionality, Farrokhzad was already living on multiple crossroads. She navigated various axes whilst painfully exposing how different forms of repression affected people, and women in particular. As a woman, she courageously challenged society. Her private and public lives were interwoven in the poems she published about her personal experience of sexuality. She was and is an inspiration to many. Long after her death, Farrokhzad keeps on lighting the path for new generations.

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