Joan of Arc by Violet Louise

  • Black Box


Violet Louise and her creative group revisit the trial of Joan of Arc and, using music, sound and visuals, create a modern version of the story of the young peasant girl from Domrémy who saved France from the British invasion during the early 15th century.

Who was Joan of Arc after all? A Witch or a Saint? A creature blessed with unusual skills or the scapegoat for a system which betrayed her once she had fulfilled her purpose? Was she a dreamer or an ambitious intelligent woman who knew that in order for history to be written she must involve herself in the world of men rather than domestic duties.

Joan of Arc represents the new force colliding with the old but still powerful institutions such as the Catholic Church, the Inquisition, and the Feudal System. This is why her obliteration from the system was unavoidable. Her prosecutors were not any more or less ethical or scheming than the next person. They were simply defending the powers that be. It was the historical circumstances which helped Joan to realize her vision. The idea was born of a nation which would instigate the passing from the Medieval Period into a new world.

It is this idea which was her most effective weapon in politics and on the battle field. When both sides believe in the same God (English and French during the Hundred Years’ War), we understand what is means to raise the pennon and ask that the opponent surrender as it is God’s wish.

Joan was the kind of person who did not want to belong to any group; the kind of person who walks alone and with such force that in the end they burn themselves out, literally and metaphorically. The path of such people is preordained. If Joan of Arc was to return to this world once again, the exact same thing would happen - as Bernard Shaw wrote in his own theatrical version of the tale – she would be burned at the stake.

The world is not ready to accept saints or ideologists. It is only these people, though, who have the power to change the flow of history. Let us consider which kind of imagery the word Medieval brings to each of us. And if the cruelty of that time labels it (wrongly, as proven) a dark period for humanity, what can be said about the “refined and civilized” 21st century? Maybe that it is an even more bloodthirsty system which drowns any type of human freedom and wipes out anyone or anything which is considered a threat to social peace and order?
Direction – music –  text adaptation: Violet Louise

The group: Panayotis Garbis, Nikos Levantis, Lilian Xidia, Louisa Costoula, Vasilis Koundouris, Costas Bokos, Thomas Economakos, Makis Faros, Marianna Tzizlaki-Kotsanou, Aris Pavlidis.