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Date: 3-6 December 2021



Entering the city of the Dead.  Performing a ritual for deceased migrants.



Alix de Morant (RIRRA 21/UPVM), Marianne Drugeon (EMMA/UPVM),

Judith Misrahi -Barak (EMMA/UPVM)

CCU, La Vignette, Université Paul Valéry Montpellier3

Friday 3 - Sunday 5 December 2021

Studio La Vignette, Université Paul Valéry


Toward Documentary Choreography

A Workshop with Arkadi Zaides  


In his artistic work choreographer Arkadi Zaides investigates the possibilities of choreography to relate to today's societal urgencies through the use of documentary materials. For about a century, documentary theatre has reconstructed factual information in order to analyze a specific event or phenomenon. Visual art and filmmakers have joined this trend and demonstrated how factual information can be altered and questioned. The field of choreography is driven by critical experimentations but until recently, practitioners seemed less prone to confront topical political issues. Choreography, however, is able to weave together factual information and embodied practices in order to question social and political realities as well as the idea of documentary and authentic self. In this workshop, Zaides will be sharing his artistic work as well as questioning together with the participants the possible modes of engaging with reality through one’s own perspective practice.


Arkadi Zaides is an Israeli independent choreographer and visual artist of Belorussian origin. In Israel, he performed in several companies such as the Batsheva Dance Company and the Yasmeen Godder Dance Group before embarking on an independent career in 2004. He obtained a master's degree at the AHK Academy of Theater and Dance in Amsterdam (NL), and is currently pursuing a practice-based PhD at the University of Antwerpen and the Royal Conservatoire Antwerpen (BE). His performances and installations have been presented in numerous dance and theater festivals, museums, and galleries across Europe, North and South America, and Asia. Over the years he has curated projects such as ”New Dance Project” (2010-2011) with choreographer Anat Danieli, Moves Without Borders (2012-2015), and ”Violence of Inscriptions” (2015-2018) with the scholar, curator, and dramaturge Sandra Noeth. The latter gathered artists, thinkers, and human-rights activists to negotiate the role of the body in producing, maintaining, legitimizing, representing, and aestheticizing structural violence.






Monday 6 December 2021, 18h-20h

Auditorium Saint-Charles 2


Entering the city of the Dead.  Performing a ritual for deceased migrants.




18h - 18h15: Thanatic Ethics in Context

Chair: Judith Misrahi-Barak (EMMA / UPVM)

18h15 - 18h35: Round Table - Toward Documentary Choreography

Arkadi Zaides & participants

Chair: Marianne Drugeon (EMMA/UPVM)


18h35 - 19h35: About Necropolis: Arkadi Zaides in conversation

Chair: Alix de Morant ( RIRRA 21/UPVM)


19h35 - 20h: Collective discussion and Looking Forward




About NECROPOLIS (2020):


For over a quarter of a century, "UNITED for Intercultural Action", a network of hundreds of anti-racist organizations from all around Europe, has been compiling a list registering 40,555 deaths of refugees and migrants who have attempted to reach Europe since 1993. Such disasters are usually handled with a standardized almost automatic institutional response: pathologists and forensic experts are deployed to collect medical and biological data from bodies and from living relatives in order to enable identification. However, this procedure has not been followed for most of the victims of the current migration crisis at the gates of Europe. At the bottom of the sea, on the shores, and inland, a mass of decomposed bodies and body parts tells the story of a collective whose ghost hovers over European territory. For their research, Arkadi Zaides and his team delve into the practice of forensics to conceive a new virtual database documenting the remains of those whose death is to this day mostly unacknowledged. This growing archive, this map, this site named NECROPOLIS is stretching in all directions across space and time, interrelating the mythologies, histories, geographies, movements, and anatomies of those who have been granted entrance to the city of the dead.


A short interview with Arkadi Zaides is available on here.


For further details:


(Coming Soon)

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