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Mining Stories

Photo by Tom Callemin

8pm. £10/£8 concessions.

A documentary theatre performance exploring memory, politics and storytelling in the aftermath of a mining disaster in Brazil.

On the 5 November 2015, a dam containing toxic mining waste collapsed in the mountains of the Brazilian mining region Minas Gerais. A devastating flood of mud destroyed several villages before flowing into the 400-mile long river Rio Doce. In a region where more than three out of four people work in the mining industry, the disaster resembled a complete tabula rasa.

Silke Huysmans grew up in Minas Gerais, a few miles from where the disaster occurred. Twenty years later, she returned to Brazil for the first time with Hannes Dereere in order to talk to people affected by the incident and get a grip on its immense consequences. Back in Europe, they broadened their view on the event through interviews with amongst others economist Paul De Grauwe and neurologist Luc Crevits.

Each of them tells the story of the disaster from their own context, with their own nuances and points of interest. Mining Stories is an intriguing journey through a diverse collection of personal stories crossing topics such as memory, politics, religion, and storytelling.

Watch the trailer online.


The work of Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere (Brussels, Belgium) departs from concrete situations, events or places that reveal a broader subject. What characterises them is the way they research their projects by means of scientific investigation, interviews and field research. The documentary performance Mining Stories tour throughout Europe in summer 2019. The piece was selected for the Circuit X award (Best Performances by Emerging Artist) in Belgium.

We have a few free tickets for this event for those that would like to attend, but are unable to pay the full ticket price. Please email in advance to request one of these.

Let us know if you're attending on Facebook.


The venue is wheelchair accessible. All text in the performance is captioned.

You can let us know your access requirements ahead of time by emailing


Date and time

4 June 2019

Please note
This is now a past event.


Toynbee Studios
28 Commercial Street
London, E1 6AB
Tel: 020 7247 5102
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