Are! – Perilous democratic exercise

Constituons! - Périlleux exercice démocratique

Passionate and energetic such as not a, the actor Christian Lapointe book with “Create!” an object theatre unusual that reminds us of the fragility of democracy.

6 December 2019 11h29

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Are! – Perilous democratic exercise

Constituons! - Périlleux exercice démocratique

Normand Provencher

The Sun

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CRITICAL / Difficult to find more ambitious project, or even broken-mouthed, as that of Christian Lapointe with his ufo’s “Are!” To entertain the audience for three hours on the scenes of the making of a constitution for citizens, in order to compensate for the lack of a genuine one, the one that Quebec has never signed in 1982, it represented a challenge.

First of all, let’s face it, the topic is not very sexy. Little world has had a passion for constitutional affairs. The likes of Léon Dion and Henri Brown does not run the streets. Yet, when we pay attention to a time, a constitution represents the bedrock of any society. The freedom of expression, gender equality, relations with indigenous nations, the famous “living together” which, as many of the facets that shape this text democratic essential.

Since Quebec has never signed the canadian constitution – remember, the “night of the long knives” where René Lévesque was humiliated by his peers in the other provinces – Christian Lapointe has decided to take things into their own hands and form a constituent assembly, all that is most real. A quarantine of people, representative of québec society, were invited to discuss several issues.

Constituons! - Périlleux exercice démocratique

Mid-way through the documentary theatre and performance, the piece of Christian Lapointe book in three acts form the background of this long-term approach. For better and for worse.

The first act is very educational. Impossible to escape it. It is necessary to talk about the why and how. The Bélanger-Campeau Commission, for example. In order to make the presentation more digestible, Lapointe uses of figurines and video projections on discussions with citizens. Vertical blinds are used to project the images, and also to conceal the hardware technology that is used to support two.

The piece takes a turn totally useless when the very spirited and energetic actor begins to decline in the pedigree of each of the 41 member of the constituent assembly, what they do in life, their hobbies, their aspirations. As they say, it’s a long long time. There’s been no way to shorten it?

Constituons! - Périlleux exercice démocratique

Issues to the public

This is all lights on, takes place the second part. At the invitation of the actor, with a camera that sends the image to the public on screen, the spectators are invited to give, using boxes of different colors, their degree of approval on different themes, such as the right to die in dignity, the appointment of judges or the compulsory military service. The questions abound at the speed of lightning. By random draw, of the spectators are also questioned in direct. Quickly like that, point blank, could you say what is the role of the citizen in a democracy?

Other time difficult to pass than the one where Lapointe’s book in a crescendo, on a background of rock music, all the inappropriate remarks that a certain segment of the population is throwing up on the social networks about the democratic exercise. What to do to do a triple axel to Tocqueville in his grave. Again, our patience is pushed in its last cuttings off.

The final solution

The final act proves to be very informative. The comedian gives way, in a presentation Facetime, Alexander Bacon, a specialist of the political realties of indigenous peoples. This prompted very rich returns, with supporting evidence, about the tragic events suffered by its peers over the centuries. At one time, the federal politicians, clones of the nazis, have devised a “final solution” to eliminate the indigenous. Stories, such as the said Mr Bacon, who are not taught in school.

Constituons! - Périlleux exercice démocratique

In the end, it remains to this object theatrical unusual, made for audiences, a certain amount of confusion. But if only to remind us of oh so democracy remains a process as complex as a fragile Form! turns out to be a piece of useful and necessary.

Are! ran to the Periscope until the 15th of December.

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