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Gaëlle Bien-Aimé
© Julien Chauvet /VDLR

RFI Theatre 2022 Prize - Gaëlle Bien-Aimé with "Port-au-Prince et sa douce nuit”

As part of the Festival des Francophonies in Limoges, the RFI Theatre 2022 prize was awarded to the Haitian author Gaëlle Bien-Aimé for her play Port-au-Prince et sa douce nuit

Updated on 20/10/2022

2 min

In her fourth play, Gaëlle Bien-Aimé presents Zily and Férah, a couple in love who kiss, gaze and talk to each other with their windows open during a long night in Port-au-Prince. They live in a house in Pacot, an upmarket district of the city, but the situation is more than tense... Zily, a "poet on the run", has long been exhausted by this country, which has often felt like a "contraceptive pill". Férah works at the hospital and sees all the atrocities of this city on the brink. 

The lovers whisper sweet nothings to each other, caress each other, remember the past, but in the meantime, the horror continues in a city in ruins. 

As the author says, "I write so that people who are not in the country or who do not know Haiti understand what is happening there. It's important to me because there is total silence in the media about what is happening in Haiti. For a fortnight, all the roads have been blocked, for a fortnight, people have been trapped in their homes. (..). We are dying alone! I thought that maybe this could help open a window on the island.“ 

In this fractured world, love persists in making its song heard. Bodies are heavy, violent, weighed down by the weight of daily violence, but they are also sensual, fighting and driven by desire. In this play, the author employs an openly lyrical writing style, in which prose sometimes gives way to poetry, chanted and unexpected. 

Born in 1987 in Port-au-Prince, Gaëlle Bien-Aimé is a journalist, comedian, author, director and co-founder of the Acte drama school. Also an activist and member of the feminist organisation Nègès Mawon, she trained in Haiti, Belgium and Canada, then acted under the direction of Jean-René Lemoine, Guy Régis Jr, Pietro Varasso and Daniel Marcellin before devoting herself to writing. 

Read her portrait 

Organised in partnership with the Institut français, the "RFI Theatre Prize" extends RFI's commitment to theatrical creation after the success of the series of public readings organised at the Festival d'Avignon and broadcast on the radio as Ça va, ça va le monde!, supported by the Institut français. Gaëlle Bien-Aimé will see her play presented to the public in July 2023 at the opening of the 11th edition of the reading season. The text will then be broadcast on RFI. 

During the Festival, two other prizes intended to support Francophone playwriting were awarded: 

  • The SACD Prize for Francophone Dramaturgy 2022, awarded to the Guyanese author Emmelyne Octavie, winner of the Des Mots à la scène 2022 scheme, for her text "A contre-courant, nos larmes". 
  • First edition of the RFI High School Students' Prize, awarded to Beninese author Mireille Gandebagni Assiba, for her text “Les Silencieuses”, a metaphorical fable about the condition of women and how to escape it. This is the first edition of this prize awarded by a jury of students from different colleges in Benin. The prize is organised by the Centre Culturel de Rencontre Internationale (CCRI) in Ouidah, in partnership with RFI and with the support of the International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF), the Beninese Ministry of Culture, Ouidah City Council and the Institut français of Benin. 
L'institut français, LAB