2015 Public Peace Prize
in the Emerging Peacemaker category
The lone finalist in the EMERGING PEACEMAKER category, the playwright and photographer PHILIPPE DUCROS, from Quebec (Canada) is proclaimed laureate, having greatly exceeded the minimum number of points required in his category.
From Quebec, Canada, Philippe Ducros is an author, theater director, and photographer who has travelled extensively. The majority of his time is invested in artistic practices highlighting issues concerning world peace, promoting respect between different cultures, and justice for all people. Over the last 20 years he has written and produced about a dozen plays. His inspiration comes from his travels, which allow him to deliver shows that are highly sensitive, intelligent, and deal with a large number of planetary issues.
The theater public knows him best for his incredible production called L’Affiche (The Poster), which was written after several visits to Palestine. This award-winning show, first presented in 2009, is on a Quebec-wide tour this year. Unfortunately its subject matter explores a conflict that is still very much in the news. Every presentation of this play shakes up the audience and raises awareness about the heartbreaks of daily life for those living through war. Along these same lines, he produced a travelling audio-visual show called La porte du non-retour (The Door of No Return), about the implication of Canadian mining companies in Africa, in particular the Democratic Republic of Congo, which was presented in the official program of the Festival d’Avignon in 2013. Another production, called Motel Éden, takes the audience on a trip across an America that is exhausted and ravaged by an economic system that profits an elite minority while keeping the rest of its citizens in a state of perpetual struggle.
The author and photographer continues his trek of discovering others, seeking to understand what’s going on, where and when it’s happening, from the Ukraine to the slums of Brazil. His passion is meeting others, sharing, discovering their worlds and then making them known, beyond all boundaries and political crisis; and wanting for each of them peace, independence and justice.
“This guy is always on a quest for justice, devoting himself body and soul to the causes he believes in. We learn about the world through his work. We learn to better comprehend the world, to see its failings and injustices, and also its beauty. In the comfort of our Americas, we learn, through him, to become better people. More conscious, better informed. Through this contact with him, we too want to make the world a better place… nothing less! A place of sharing, of justice, humanity, respect and mutual aid.”
“I was literally transformed by the way he uses language, relevance and strength to deal with this complex issue. It was a complete theatrical adventure: Philippe, with his intelligence, his sensitivity and in particular because of the urgency with which he invites us to get involved, to understand, and to share our reflections… In short all of that convinced me, at the time, to accept his proposition (to collaborate). Ever since, I have stayed in contact with this devoted and attentive artist.”
“With people like Philippe, we don’t just dream about Peace, we live it within the space he creates in the theatre. When he travels around the world, like a peace pilgrim in these countries tormented by eternal conflicts, he comes back with the determination of a monk turned into a photographer, with intense images that stand out from the rest… and as an artist he uses them with an acuteness that is rarely seen.”
“His extensive travelling around the world bears witness to his desire to understand and to respect, which are the basic ingredients for peacemaking. India, China, Palestine, Congo and the Ukraine are his destinations, which for me shows a humanist interest rather than someone who is simply travelling for pleasure.”
Last year, Philippe Ducros visited Greece so that he could see for himself the austerity policies. He travelled to the Ukraine so he could experience first-hand the reality there during these troubled times, and he went to Scotland during the last referendum.”
“His photos must be seen, they’re like a slap in the face he brings back from each of his trips.”
“Philippe Ducros is an artist in a very complete way, in the sense that his fervent quests result in committed, mobilizing stands for a cause. Philippe Ducros manages to tear away the ignorance we wear like veils over our eyes.”
As for his work, his art, he is guided, perhaps even dictated by a desire for social and political equity and bringing awareness to all the inequalities that exist in our lowly world. He considers awareness to be the first step towards discussions that can eventually lead to peace.”
Philippe Ducros won the Prix Gratien-Gélinas for his play called 2025, l’année du serpent (year of the snake), created in 2012. He was a finalist for the Prix du Gouverneur général in 2012 for his play called Dissidents.
To learn more (in French): http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippe_Ducros