Amnesty/Amnesia - © Kurt Van der Elst
Amnesty/Amnesia - © Kurt Van der Elst
Amnesty/Amnesia - © Kurt Van der Elst
Amnesty/Amnesia - © Kurt Van der Elst
Amnesty/Amnesia - © Kurt Van der Elst
Amnesty/Amnesia - © Kurt Van der Elst
Amnesty/Amnesia - © Kurt Van der Elst
Amnesty/Amnesia - © Kurt Van der Elst
Amnesty/Amnesia - © Kurt Van der Elst


What do we do with people who make extreme choices and thus place themselves outside society? How do we deal with people who are seen as a danger to society? What if such people regret their choices and wish to return? Do we give them a second chance or do we ignore their existence? What lessons can we learn from the SS past, in view of the ISIS present?

After years of producing theatre plays, theatre company Action Zoo Humain now turns to television. Forget the priestly talk, the conflict, the feigned interest. The unprecedented talk show format Samen door één deur (Together through one door) ignores the ten commandments of the civilised talk programme. The guests of the evening: the daughter of a collaborator and the mother of a Syrian fighter. Amnesty/Amnesia dives both into our collective past as well as into the current precarious sociopolitical reality. What can we learn today from the years after the Second World War, a period in history in which the "re-education" and "healing" of collaborators was a hot topic?

With Amnesty/Amnesia Action Zoo Humain raises countless topical questions. Can the reintegration of traitors after WWII today offer us a guideline for the return of radicalized ISIS warriors, especially now that the caliphate has been broken up? What place do we give to perpetrators when we try to treat those affected as appropriately and serenely as possible? Should we forget and forgive? What are the implications for the environment and family of collaborators and Syrian fighters and what happens when both parties meet? Together through one door advocates radical reconciliation.

The performance was selected for het TheaterFestival 2018 (5-6 September, Antwerp), was programmed at Theater aan Zee (TAZ) 2018 (30-31 July, Ostend) en played at Nederlands Theater Festival 2018 (15 September, Amsterdam).


Amnesty/Amnesia is the third part of The Truth Trilogy[1] (The Truth Commission 2013, Join the Revolution 2015), in which Action Zoo Humain raises more questions than answers.
[1] The Truth Commission, Join The Revolution and Amnesty/Amnesia are part of a broader project of Action Zoo Humain about truth. Action Zoo Humain uses a number of present-day conflicts to reflect on what "truth" is and what "truth" still means today. Which different truths exist? Who tells and determines the truth? Which rational and emotional arguments are being used to reach that truth? Which reality does a certain truth discourse construct?


PRODUCTION Action Zoo Humain CONCEPT Chokri Ben Chikha DIRECTION Chokri Ben Chikha, Tom Dupont DRAMATURGY Zouzou Ben Chikha ACTORS Bert Gabriëls, Dahlia Pessemiers-Benamar, Marijke Pinoy/Ingrid De Vos, Chokri Ben Chikha, Sarah Desmet TEXT Erik-Ward Geerlings, Erwin Jans DIRECTION ASSISTANT Kristien Van Driessche VIDEO DIRECTION Koen De Saeger VIDEOGRAPHY Sidi Diarra TECHNIQUE Niels Ieven, Lucas Van de Voorde, Maarten Snoeck CHOIR Mais Quelle Chanson o.l.v. Kapinga Gysel COSTUMES Marij De Brabandere OUR THANKS TO prof. dr. Bruno De Wever & dr. Koen Aerts (UGent), Stef Ampe, Karolien De Schepper, Kathy Douchar, Fatima Ezzarhouni, Willem Van Cauwenberghe PARTNERS KASK/School of Arts/HoGent, Theater Rotterdam IN COOPERATION WITH NTGent, Les Ballets C de la B WITH THE SUPPORT OF Vlaamse Overheid, Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen, Stad Gent

In the press


"In addition to that clear plea for historical awareness and nuanced opinion-forming on sensitive subjects, such as collaboration and Syrian fighters, it is also a flaming criticism of sensational media practices that do not reflect or reconcile but rather exploit and polarise."


"In Amnesty/Amnesia the media is no longer a mediator or watchdog, but it dramatizes and banalizes them endlessly. Both Pinoy and Pessemiers-Benamar fight against this. They continue to emphasize the complexity of their cases in their own way, with the horror of their family members in the background."

Juryrapport het TheaterFestival 2018

"With those ingenious constructions Action Zoo Humain finds a way to speak frankly about pressing societal questions."

Het Nieuwsblad

"A strong performance that strucks different nerves and that beautifully mocks the television business."

Concert News

"Amnesty/Amnesia is a lovely example of media critique in which sensationalism, staging events, simplicity and well-rehearsed oneliners are professionally ridiculised."

De Standaard

"Amnesty/Amnesia raises an interesting playing field of questions. Mission accomplished."


"The message of the content, the chosen theatre format and the metatheatrical reflection that the format evokes, strengthen each other to a smart and powerful theatre performance."