A day in Dunkerque

War & Peace

On 14 September we went over to Dunkerque to see Nicolette Picheral’s performance of Entre Phare & Shaft/Between Beacon & Shaft in the lighthouse in Dunkerque. Guiding visitors through the lighthouse, she narrated her fable about maritime borders, particularly the Straits of Dover that the French know as “the Sleeve”, weaving together quotes from historical archives and a fictional mysterious beacon. The performance included music devised and played by Colin Hinds on the electric guitar. Nicolette’s telling of the story was both intimate (using the French ‘tu‘ throughout) and powerful, while “Colin’s playing was so very beautiful with a unique score that has developed from the collaboration with Nicolette Picheral and director Stéphane Vérité.” Entre Phare et Shaft/Between Beacon and Shaft is a Dunkerque 2013 event and part of our War & Peace programme. Nicolette and Colin will be performing in Dover on 28 and 29 September in the Drop Redoubt.

Earlier, we had lunch with Jean-Luc Du Val from the Dunkerque Library. He has set up a pop-up library full of books about the sea in the Musee des Beaux Arts in Dunkerque. The project is part of Jean-Luc’s programme of taking the library out into the town. The mini library is part of a forthcoming exhibition: Retours de Mer, from 5 October 2013 to 31 January 2015. Although the exhibition doesn’t start until next month, the museum was open for the Journées Européennes du patrimoine (heritage open days) so we were able to get an idea of the show. It will be truly worth a visit if you are going that way as the curation of the show by guest curator Jean Attali successfully brings together philosophy and architecture to make a very moving exhibition.